J41.5 Dynamical Forecasts of Tropical Terrestrial Carbon Fluxes with the NASA S2S Retrospective Forecast System

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 11:30 AM
154 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Eunjee Lee, USRA/NASA Goddard, Greenbelt, MD; and F. W. Zeng, L. Ott, R. Koster, S. Shukla, A. Hazra, K. R. Arsenault, and J. Joiner

Recent advances in the ability to predict climate anomalies at sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S­) timescales allow us to explore the possibility of forecasting carbon flux anomalies. Although carbon flux forecasting is a relatively new concept, it is potentially beneficial as it can help us better understand global and regional land-atmosphere carbon feedbacks associated with climate variations and can provide guidance for future field mission design. Here we evaluate the skill of forecasted terrestrial carbon anomalies generated from meteorological anomalies produced with the NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) S2S forecast system. We focus here on three representative time periods (the most recent 2015-2016 El Nino, 2011 La Nina, and 2014 as a neutral year), with each corresponding 9-month forecast comprising four ensemble members initialized in the preceding December. The meteorological variables produced by the GMAO forecast system were bias-corrected using a climatology derived from the Modern Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2) before being used to drive a suite of offline simulations with the NASA Catchment-CN terrestrial biosphere model, a model that computes water-energy-carbon dynamics. Forecasts are evaluated by comparing against satellite-driven estimates of gross primary production (GPP) and inverse model estimates of net carbon flux that incorporate satellite carbon dioxide measurements. We find that the restrospectively predicted carbon fluxes in the tropics reasonably reproduce the signs and magnitudes of the observed anomalies between the 2015-2016 El Nino and the 2011 La Nina for both net flux and GPP. For instance, for the El Nino period, the magnitude of the forecasted negative GPP anomaly in the South American tropics (which undergoes anomalously warm and dry conditions) agrees with the observed GPP anomaly at leads of up to three or four months. Overall, this study demonstrates potential skill in the forecast of biospheric carbon fluxes a few months in advance, a capability that could contribute to attribution studies focusing on carbon flux variations and support innovative observation strategies in the future.
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