Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 2009-2030, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Model description paper
22 May 2017
Carbon–nitrogen interactions in idealized simulations with JSBACH (version 3.10)
Daniel S. Goll1,a, Alexander J. Winkler2,3, Thomas Raddatz2, Ning Dong3,5, Ian Colin Prentice4,6, Philippe Ciais1, and Victor Brovkin2 1Le Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, IPSL-LSCE CEA/CNRS/UVSQ Saclay, Gif sur Yvette, France
2Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
3International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modeling, Hamburg, Germany
4Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia
5Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
6AXA Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Buckhurst Road, Ascot SL5 7PY, UK
aformerly at: Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
Abstract. Recent advances in the representation of soil carbon decomposition and carbon–nitrogen interactions implemented previously into separate versions of the land surface scheme JSBACH are here combined in a single version, which is set to be used in the upcoming 6th phase of coupled model intercomparison project (CMIP6).

Here we demonstrate that the new version of JSBACH is able to reproduce the spatial variability in the reactive nitrogen-loss pathways as derived from a compilation of δ15N data (R = 0. 76, root mean square error (RMSE)  = 0. 2, Taylor score  = 0. 83). The inclusion of carbon–nitrogen interactions leads to a moderate reduction (−10 %) of the carbon-concentration feedback (βL) and has a negligible effect on the sensitivity of the land carbon cycle to warming (γL) compared to the same version of the model without carbon–nitrogen interactions in idealized simulations (1 % increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide per year). In line with evidence from elevated carbon dioxide manipulation experiments, pronounced nitrogen scarcity is alleviated by (1) the accumulation of nitrogen due to enhanced nitrogen inputs by biological nitrogen fixation and reduced losses by leaching and volatilization. Warming stimulated turnover of organic nitrogen further counteracts scarcity.

The strengths of the land carbon feedbacks of the recent version of JSBACH, with βL = 0. 61 Pg ppm−1 and γL = −27. 5 Pg °C−1, are 34 and 53 % less than the averages of CMIP5 models, although the CMIP5 version of JSBACH simulated βL and γL, which are 59 and 42 % higher than multi-model average. These changes are primarily due to the new decomposition model, indicating the importance of soil organic matter decomposition for land carbon feedbacks.

Please read the corrigendum first before accessing the article.

Citation: Goll, D. S., Winkler, A. J., Raddatz, T., Dong, N., Prentice, I. C., Ciais, P., and Brovkin, V.: Carbon–nitrogen interactions in idealized simulations with JSBACH (version 3.10), Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 2009-2030,, 2017.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The response of soil organic carbon decomposition to warming and the interactions between nitrogen and carbon cycling affect the feedbacks between the land carbon cycle and the climate. In the model JSBACH carbon–nitrogen interactions have only a small effect on the feedbacks, whereas modifications of soil organic carbon decomposition have a large effect. The carbon cycle in the improved model is more resilient to climatic changes than in previous version of the model.
The response of soil organic carbon decomposition to warming and the interactions between...