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Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Quantifying Output Uncertainty in Models used for Climatic Change Research Seminar - Coupling of vegetation and atmospheric models – what are we lacking?

17th November 2011, 13:00 to 14:00, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study, Cosin's Hall, Professor Stephen Sitch (Exeter University)

This is the fourth seminar in the Quantifying Output Uncertainty in Models used for Climatic Change Research Seminar Series.

A decade has now passed since the first study using a General Circulation Model coupled to a land and ocean carbon cycle components identified the importance of climate-carbon cycle feedbacks on the future development of the Earth System (Cox et al., 2000). Now many climate centres around the World have developed a new generation of model, so-named Earth System Models, integrating knowledge from a variety of disciplines, including chemistry, climate and ecosystems, into a single model framework. This has created many opportunities and challenges alike. 

I will review the state-of-the-art in modelling vegetation dynamics and the land carbon cycle, and present recent findings on the effect of different atmospheric constituents on the land carbon sink. With greater model complexity we need to address uncertainty in model predictions. I will discuss the implications of process & parameter uncertainty in models on the projected development of the Earth system, and stress the need for concomitant model evaluation and benchmarking. Finally I will discuss key gaps in knowledge and present possible ways forward.

This seminar is part of the Quantifying Output Uncertainty in Models used for Climatic Change Research Seminars.

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.