A generic biogeochemical module for Earth system models: Next Generation BioGeoChemical Module (NGBGC), version 1.0
- 1Hydrology Group, Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA
- 2Climate Physics Group, Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA
- 3Geochemistry Group, Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA
Abstract. Physical and biogeochemical processes regulate soil carbon dynamics and CO2 flux to and from the atmosphere, influencing global climate changes. Integration of these processes into Earth system models (e.g., community land models (CLMs)), however, currently faces three major challenges: (1) extensive efforts are required to modify modeling structures and to rewrite computer programs to incorporate new or updated processes as new knowledge is being generated, (2) computational cost is prohibitively expensive to simulate biogeochemical processes in land models due to large variations in the rates of biogeochemical processes, and (3) various mathematical representations of biogeochemical processes exist to incorporate different aspects of fundamental mechanisms, but systematic evaluation of the different mathematical representations is difficult, if not impossible. To address these challenges, we propose a new computational framework to easily incorporate physical and biogeochemical processes into land models. The new framework consists of a new biogeochemical module, Next Generation BioGeoChemical Module (NGBGC), version 1.0, with a generic algorithm and reaction database so that new and updated processes can be incorporated into land models without the need to manually set up the ordinary differential equations to be solved numerically. The reaction database consists of processes of nutrient flow through the terrestrial ecosystems in plants, litter, and soil. This framework facilitates effective comparison studies of biogeochemical cycles in an ecosystem using different conceptual models under the same land modeling framework. The approach was first implemented in CLM and benchmarked against simulations from the original CLM-CN code. A case study was then provided to demonstrate the advantages of using the new approach to incorporate a phosphorus cycle into CLM. To our knowledge, the phosphorus-incorporated CLM is a new model that can be used to simulate phosphorus limitation on the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems. The method presented here could in theory be applied to simulate biogeochemical cycles in other Earth system models.