Articles | Volume 10, issue 7
Model evaluation paper
11 Jul 2017
Model evaluation paper |  | 11 Jul 2017

Global evaluation of gross primary productivity in the JULES land surface model v3.4.1

Darren Slevin, Simon F. B. Tett, Jean-François Exbrayat, A. Anthony Bloom, and Mathew Williams

Abstract. This study evaluates the ability of the JULES land surface model (LSM) to simulate gross primary productivity (GPP) on regional and global scales for 2001–2010. Model simulations, performed at various spatial resolutions and driven with a variety of meteorological datasets (WFDEI-GPCC, WFDEI-CRU and PRINCETON), were compared to the MODIS GPP product, spatially gridded estimates of upscaled GPP from the FLUXNET network (FLUXNET-MTE) and the CARDAMOM terrestrial carbon cycle analysis. Firstly, when JULES was driven with the WFDEI-GPCC dataset (at 0. 5° × 0. 5° spatial resolution), the annual average global GPP simulated by JULES for 2001–2010 was higher than the observation-based estimates (MODIS and FLUXNET-MTE), by 25 and 8 %, respectively, and CARDAMOM estimates by 23 %. JULES was able to simulate the standard deviation of monthly GPP fluxes compared to CARDAMOM and the observation-based estimates on global scales. Secondly, GPP simulated by JULES for various biomes (forests, grasslands and shrubs) on global and regional scales were compared. Differences among JULES, MODIS, FLUXNET-MTE and CARDAMOM on global scales were due to differences in simulated GPP in the tropics. Thirdly, it was shown that spatial resolution (0. 5° × 0. 5°, 1° × 1° and 2° × 2°) had little impact on simulated GPP on these large scales, with global GPP ranging from 140 to 142 PgC year−1. Finally, the sensitivity of JULES to meteorological driving data, a major source of model uncertainty, was examined. Estimates of annual average global GPP were higher when JULES was driven with the PRINCETON meteorological dataset than when driven with the WFDEI-GPCC dataset by 3 PgC year−1. On regional scales, differences between the two were observed, with the WFDEI-GPCC-driven model simulations estimating higher GPP in the tropics (5° N–5° S) and the PRINCETON-driven model simulations estimating higher GPP in the extratropics (30–60° N).