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New Dynamic Global Vegetation Model for CAS-ESM Delivers Better Simulation of Vegetation Distribution and Carbon Fluxes

Terrestrial ecosystems and environments are pivotal for human beings. In the past several decades, rapid climate change has resulted in considerable changes to terrestrial ecosystems, and these changes in turn significantly affect the climate. At present, dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) are the best available tool to represent vegetation dynamics at the global scale. 

Professor ZENG Xiaodong and his research group at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, has in recent years devoted considerable scientific effort toward establishing and subsequently developing a DGVM for the IAP. Major developments have included a shrub sub-model, a process-based fire parameterization of intermediate complexity, and a new establishment parameterization scheme. 

Most recently, Dr. ZHU Jiawen, in work published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, coupled IAP-DGVM with the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Earth System Model (CAS-ESM) and carried out an evaluation. The results show that IAP-DGVM significantly improves CAS-ESM’s ability in simulating the global vegetation distribution (i.e., trees and shrubs) and carbon fluxes (i.e., gross primary production, net primary production, and fire carbon emissions).

Fig. 1. Global weighted average of fractional coverage (%) of each plant functional type for in the control (uncoupled) experiment (blue), in the “IAP” (coupled) experiment (red), and based on observations (black). (Image by ZHU Jiawen)



Zhu, J. W., and Coauthors, 2018: Evaluation of the new dynamic global vegetation model in CAS-ESM. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 35(6),


Ms. LIN Zheng,

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