DOE Free-Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment Experiments Used to Benchmark Global Models


Last week, The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) hosted a meeting entitled, “Benchmarking ecosystem response models with experimental data from long-term CO2.”  The purpose of the meeting was to bring together developers of twelve ecosystem process and land surface models, which are being used for predicting terrestrial response to atmospheric and climatic change, with BER-supported scientists from the Duke University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments. FACE experimental data will be used to benchmark model performance: evaluating the ability of the models to predict response to environmental change.  The models will be run, compared with observations from the FACE experiments, and improved based on these findings.  Results will be presented at the next workshop (tentatively scheduled for the week of May 4).  This activity is expected to lead to better and more defensible global predictions of carbon cycling and ecosystem response to elevated carbon dioxide levels.