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A simple global carbon and energy coupled cycle model for global warming simulation: sensitivity to the light saturation effect

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A simple Earth system model, the Four-Spheres Cycle of Energy and Mass (4-SCEM) model, has been developed to simulate global warming due to anthropogenic CO2 emission. The model consists of the Atmosphere–Earth Heat Cycle (AEHC) model, the Four Spheres Carbon Cycle (4-SCC) model, and their feedback processes. The AEHC model is a one-dimensional radiative convective model, which includes the greenhouse effect of CO2 and H2O, and one cloud layer. The 4-SCC model is a box-type carbon cycle model, which includes biospheric CO2 fertilization, vegetation area variation, the vegetation light saturation effect and the HILDA oceanic carbon cycle model. The feedback processes between carbon cycle and climate considered in the model are temperature dependencies of water vapor content, soil decomposition and ocean surface chemistry. The future status of the global carbon cycle and climate was simulated up to the year 2100 based on the “business as usual” (IS92a) emission scenario, followed by a linear decline in emissions to zero in the year 2200. The atmospheric CO2 concentration reaches 645 ppmv in 2100 and a peak of 760 ppmv approximately in the year 2170, and becomes a steady state with 600 ppmv. The projected CO2 concentration was lower than those of the past carbon cycle studies, because we included the light saturation effect of vegetation. The sensitivity analysis showed that uncertainties derived from the light saturation effect of vegetation and land use CO2 emissions were the primary cause of uncertainties in projecting future CO2 concentrations. The climate feedback effects showed rather small sensitivities compared with the impacts of those two effects. Satellite-based net primary production trends analyses can somewhat decrease the uncertainty in quantifying CO2 emissions due to land use changes. On the other hand, as the estimated parameter in vegetation light saturation was poorly constrained, we have to quantify and constrain the effect more accurately.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan 2: CRC Solutions Corporation, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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