Interactions between the atmosphere, cryosphere and ecosystems at northern high latitudes
The Nordic Centre of Excellence CRAICC (CRyosphere-Atmosphere Interactions in a Changing Arctic Climate), funded by NordForsk in the years 2011–2016, was the largest joint Nordic research and innovation initiative to date, aiming to strengthen research and innovation regarding climate change issues in the Nordic Region. CRAICC gathered more than 100 scientists from all Nordic countries in a virtual Centre with the objectives to identify and quantify the major processes controlling Arctic warming and related feedback mechanisms, to outline strategies to mitigate Arctic warming and to develop Nordic Earth System modelling with a focus on the short-lived climate forcers (SLCF), including natural and anthropogenic aerosols. The outcome of CRAICC is reflected in more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications, most of which are in the CRAICC special-issue of the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. This manuscript presents an overview on the main scientific topics investigated in the Centre and provides the reader a state-of-the-art comprehensive summary of what has been achieved in CRAICC with links to the particular publications for further detail. Facing the vast amount of outcomes we are not claiming to cover all results from CRAICC in this manuscript but concentrate here on the main results which are related to the feedback loops in the climate change-cryosphere interaction scheme affecting the Arctic amplification.
Uncertainty quantification of extratropical forest biomass in CMIP5 models over the Northern Hemisphere
Simplified representations of processes influencing forest biomass in Earth system models (ESMs) contribute to large uncertainty in projections. We evaluate forest biomass from eight ESMs outputs archived in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) using the biomass data synthesized from radar remote sensing and ground-based observations across northern extratropical latitudes. ESMs exhibit large biases in the forest distribution, forest fraction, and mass of carbon pools that contribute to uncertainty in forest total biomass (biases range from −20 Pg C to 135 Pg C). Forest total biomass is primarily positively correlated with precipitation variations, with surface temperature becoming equally important at higher latitudes, in both simulations and observations. Relatively small differences in forest biomass between the pre-industrial period and the contemporary period indicate uncertainties in forest biomass were introduced in the pre-industrial model equilibration (spin-up), suggesting parametric or structural model differences are a larger source of uncertainty than differences in transient responses. Our findings emphasize the importance of improved (1) models of carbon allocation to biomass compartments, (2) distribution of vegetation types in models, and (3) reproduction of pre-industrial vegetation conditions, in order to reduce the uncertainty in forest biomass simulated by ESMs.