ORA Article: "Towards quantifying uncertainty in predictions of Amazon 'dieback'" - uuid:8c07dba1-6ee6-4fb0-830b-869aa2eb0494

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Reference: Chris Huntingford, Rosie A. Fisher, Lina Mercado et al., (2008). Towards quantifying uncertainty in predictions of Amazon 'dieback'. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 363 (1498), 1857-1864.

Citable link to this page: http://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:8c07dba1-6ee6-4fb0-830b-869aa2eb0494
 
Title: Towards quantifying uncertainty in predictions of Amazon 'dieback'

Abstract: Simulations with the Hadley Centre general circulation model (HadCM3), including carbon cycle model and forced by a 'business-as-usual' emissions scenario, predict a rapid loss of Amazonian rainforest from the middle of this century onwards. The robustness of this projection to both uncertainty in physical climate drivers and the formulation of the land surface scheme is investigated. We analyse how the modelled vegetation cover in Amazonia responds to (i) uncertainty in the parameters specified in the atmosphere component of HadCM3 and their associated influence on predicted surface climate. We then enhance the land surface description and (ii) implement a multilayer canopy light interception model and compare with the simple 'big-leaf' approach used in the original simulations. Finally, (iii) we investigate the effect of changing the method of simulating vegetation dynamics from an area-based model (TRIFFID) to a more complex size- and age-structured approximation of an individual-based model (ecosystem demography). We find that the loss of Amazonian rainforest is robust across the climate uncertainty explored by perturbed physics simulations covering a wide range of global climate sensitivity. The introduction of the refined light interception models leads to an increase in simulated gross plant carbon uptake for the present day, but, with altered respiration, the net effect is a decrease in net primary productivity. However, this does not significantly affect the carbon loss from vegetation and soil as a consequence of future simulated depletion in soil moisture; the Amazon forest is still lost. The introduction of the more sophisticated dynamic vegetation model reduces but does not half the rate of forest dieback. The potential for human-induced climate change to trigger the loss of Amazon rainforest appears robust within the context of the uncertainties explored in this paper. Some further uncertainties should be explored, particularly with respect to the representation of rooting depth.


Publication status:Published
Peer Review status:Peer reviewed
Version:Publisher's version
Notes:Citation: Huntingford, C. et al. (2008). 'Towards quantifying uncertainty in predictions of Amazon 'dieback'', Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 363(1498), 1857-1864. [Available at http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/]. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
About The Authors
institution"Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxon, UK"
 
institutionUniversity of Sheffield
facultyDepartment of Animal and Plant Sciences
 
institution"Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxon, UK"
 
institution"Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK"
 
institution"Met Office Hadley Centre, Wallingford, Oxon, UK"
 
institution"Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxon, UK"
 
institutionUniversity of Exeter
facultySchool of Engineering,Computer Science and Mathematics
 
institution"Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK"
 
institution"Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK"
 
websitehttp://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/people/malhiyadvinder.php
institutionUniversity of Oxford
facultySocial Sciences Division - Environment,Centre for the
 
institution"Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK"
 
institution"Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK"
 
institution"Harvard University, MA, USA"
facultyDepartment of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
 
Bibliographic Details
Publisher: Royal Society
Host: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B see more from them
Volume: 363
Issue: 1498
Extent: 1857-1864
Issue Date: 2008-May
Copyright Date: 2008
Identifiers
Doi: 10.1098/rstb.2007.0028
Eissn: 1471-2970
Urn: uuid:8c07dba1-6ee6-4fb0-830b-869aa2eb0494
Item Description
Type: Article: post-print;
Language: en
Version: Publisher's version
Keywords:
Subjects:
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Member of collection : ora:articles
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Copyright Holder: C. Huntingford et al.
Access Condition: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/
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