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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 14 Apr 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 14 Apr 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal GMD and is expected to appear here in due course.

Harmonization of Global Land-Use Change and Management for the Period 850–2100 (LUH2) for CMIP6

George C. Hurtt1, Louise Chini1, Ritvik Sahajpal1, Steve Frolking2, Benjamin L. Bodirsky3, Katherine Calvin4, Jonathan C. Doelman5, Justin Fisk1,6, Shinichiro Fujimori7, Kees Klein Goldewijk5,8, Tomoko Hasegawa7, Peter Havlik9, Andreas Heinimann10, Florian Humpenöder3, Johan Jungclaus11, Jed Kaplan12, Jennifer Kennedy1, Tamas Kristzin9, David Lawrence13, Peter Lawrence13, Lei Ma1, Ole Mertz14, Julia Pongratz11,15, Alexander Popp3, Benjamin Poulter16, Keywan Riahi9, Elena Shevliakova17, Elke Stehfest5, Peter Thornton18, Francesco N. Tubiello19, Detlef P. van Vuuren5,8, and Xin Zhang20 George C. Hurtt et al.
  • 1Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, USA
  • 2Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire, USA
  • 3Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
  • 4Joint Global ChangeResearch Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA
  • 5PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the Netherlands
  • 6Applied Geosolutions, USA
  • 7National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
  • 8Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 9International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
  • 10Institute of Geographyand Centre for Development and Environment,University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 11Max Planck Institute for Meterology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 12Department of Earth Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 13National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA
  • 14Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 15Ludwig-Maximiliansuniversität Munich, Department of Geography, Germany
  • 16NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Sciences Lab, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
  • 17Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 18Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA
  • 19Statistics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • 20Appalachian Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, USA

Abstract. Human land-use activities have resulted in large changes to the biogeochemical and biophysical properties of the Earth surface, with consequences for climate and other ecosystem services. In the future, land-use activities are likely to expand and/or intensify further to meet growing demands for food, fiber, and energy. As part of the World Climate Research Program Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), the international community is developing the next generation of advanced Earth System Models (ESMs) to estimate the combined effects of human activities (e.g. land use and fossil fuel emissions) on the carbon-climate system. A new set of historical data based on the History of the Global Environment database (HYDE), and multiple alternative scenarios of the future (2015–2100) from Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) teams, are required as input for these models. Here we present results from the Land-use Harmonization 2 (LUH2) project, with the goal to smoothly connect updated historical reconstructions of land-use with new future projections in the format required for ESMs. The harmonization strategy estimates the fractional land-use patterns, underlying land-use transitions, key agricultural management information, and resulting secondary lands annually, while minimizing the differences between the end of the historical reconstruction and IAM initial conditions and preserving changes depicted by the IAMs in the future. The new approach builds off a similar effort from CMIP5, and is now provided at higher resolution (0.25 × 0.25 degree), over a longer time domain (850–2100, with extensions to 2300), with more detail (including multiple crop and pasture types and associated management practices), using more input datasets (including Landsat remote sensing data), updated algorithms (wood harvest and shifting cultivation), and is assessed via a new diagnostic package. The new LUH2 products contain > 50 times the information content of the datasets used in CMIP5, and are designed to enable new and improved estimates of the combined effects of land-use on the global carbon-climate system.

George C. Hurtt et al.

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George C. Hurtt et al.

George C. Hurtt et al.


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