WP 10 - Improving IAM-ESM land use representation

In this work package (WP), we aim to improve the representation of land-based mitigation options in the land surface models (LSMs) used in Earth system models. We will focus on agricultural practices (bioenergy crop yields, harvesting, fertilizer, irrigation) and afforestation, reforestation and forest management approaches. We will use the improved LSMs to study the biogeochemical and biophysical climate impacts of the land management practices, and their implications for the effectiveness of land-based climate mitigation strategies. These developments will strengthen the linkages between integrated assessment models and Earth system models, enabling comprehensive assessments of biogeochemical and biophysical effects of future mitigation scenarios.

Our objectives are: 1) to improve the ability of land surface models to simulate potentials for climate mitigation through targeted land-management practices; 2) to deliver improved land management schemes to the project Earth system models. This will enable new couplings and feedbacks to be explored and will pave the way for a robust analysis of potential land-based mitigation options for realizing the Paris Agreement; 3) to inform calibration of a reduced complexity climate model (MAGICC) through sensitivity experiments focused on land carbon fluxes responses to land-use change and land management; and 4) to incorporate new knowledge on the role of local climate and environmental constraints (e.g. nutrients, water) on land productivity and the effectiveness of land management measures into the REMIND-MagPIE integrated assessment model.

Institutions involved: Our WP focuses on improvements of four land surface models. The models (and their host ESMs) are 1) ICON (JSBACH): MPG-LMU, 2) IPSL-CM (ORCHIDEE): CNRS, 3) NorESM (FATES): CICERO, MetNo, and 4) JULES (UKESM): UK Met Office, University of Exeter. We also work with the REMIND-MagPIE IAM (PIK).

WP Leaders

Anna Harper

Anna Harper

Senior Lecturer in Climate Science -
University of Exeter (UK)

My research focuses on interactions between vegetation, climate, and humans. I am interested in better understanding processes that govern how plants respond to climate extremes and trends in climate change, the impacts of climate and human land use on ecosystems, and the feasibility of land-based mitigation pathways. I primarily use models in my research, supported by measurements from sites or from satellites.

In ESM2025

I work with the JULES land surface model to better represent land management practices and their impacts on the Earth system.

Julia Pongratz

Julia Pongratz

Professor for Physical Geography and Land Use Systems - University of Munich (Germany)

I studied geography at the University of Munich (LMU) and the University of Maryland, received my PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-Met)/University of Hamburg on the early impact of human activity on climate, and conducted research on geoengineering and food security at the Carnegie Institution, Department of Global Ecology, Stanford. From 2013 to 2020 I have been leading the junior research group at the MPI-Met on Forest Management in the Earth system. Since 2018 I have joint affiliations at the MPI-Met and LMU Munich. My group integrates Earth system and vegetation modeling with observations to assess the interactions between land-use change and climate, but also natural vegetation dynamics.

I am member of the Scientific Steering Committees of AIMES and the Global Carbon Project and co-lead of the CMIP6 projects LUMIP and C4MIP.

In ESM2025

I co-lead WP10 with Anna and will supervise the work on improving the ICON-ESM and its land surface component JSBACH. We will try capture more land management processes in JSBACH and simulate their effects on carbon, energy and water fluxes.

Milestones & Delievrables

Project start

MS10.1 – Month 6

Definition of key diagnostics to evaluate planned ESM improvements in land management practices at the process level (CT3/WP10) and with respect to coupled interactions and coupled performance (CT2). Identification of key observational data sets and initial scoping of diagnostics intended for ESMValtool.

MS10.2 – Month 6

Definition of common development pathways to combine model developments concerning natural land (WP2) and land management practices (WP10) in the project ESMs.

MS10.3 – Month 18

Preliminary versions of the new/improved land management schemes passed to CT2 for coupling and initial testing.

MS10.4 – Month 24

Land simulations (CMIP6, AMIP, LS3MIP, LUMIP and TRENDY) for evaluation of new/improved land management schemes made available to XCA1 and to LPJmL/MagPIE.

MS10.5 – Month 27 Updated versions of new/improved land management practices schemes passed to CT2 for final coupling, tuning and use in XCA2 coupled demonstration simulations.

D10.1 – Jan 2024

Report on the implementation and the evaluation of new land management representations in the land-surface components of participating ESM2025 models.

MS10.6 – Month 32 Simulations of LPJmL using the local biogeophysical effects of selected land management practices from ESMs to quantify changes in land carbon cycle, agricultural yields and freshwater availability.
D10.2 – March 2024 Report on climate and carbon cycle changes from land management and trade-offs of global mitigation and local adaptation simulated by the participating ESM2025 models.
D10.3 – May 2024 Report on the impact of local biogeophysical effects of land management on land carbon cycle, agricultural yields and freshwater availability as simulated by LPJmL.
Project end