Submitted as: development and technical paper 21 Jul 2021

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 21 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Modeling perennial bioenergy crops in the E3SM land model

Eva Sinha1, Kate Calvin2, Ben Bond-Lamberty2, Beth Drewniak3, Dan Ricciuto4, Khachik Sargsyan5, Yanyan Cheng1,6, Carl Bernacchi7,8, and Caitlin Moore8,9 Eva Sinha et al.
  • 1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States
  • 2Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, College Park, MD, United States
  • 3Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL, United States
  • 4Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, United States
  • 5Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA, United States
  • 6Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Management, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • 7Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Urbana, IL, United States
  • 8University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, United States
  • 9School of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia

Abstract. Perennial bioenergy crops are increasingly important for the production of ethanol and other renewable fuels, and as part of an agricultural system that alters the climate through its impact on biogeophysical and biogeochemical properties of the terrestrial ecosystem. The Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) Land Model (ELM) does not represent perennial bioenergy crops, however. In this study, we expand ELM’s crop model to include perennial bioenergy crops whose production increases in modeled socioeconomic pathways owing to their potential for mitigating climate change. We focus on high-productivity miscanthus and switchgrass, estimating various parameters associated with their different growth stages and performing a global sensitivity analysis to identify and optimize these parameters. The sensitivity analysis identifies eight parameters associated with phenology, carbon/nitrogen allocation, and photosynthetic capacity as the most sensitive parameters for carbon and energy fluxes. We calibrated the model against observations collected at the University of Illinois Energy Farm for carbon and energy fluxes, and found that the model closely captures the observed seasonality and the magnitude of carbon fluxes. The model accurately represents the seasonality of energy fluxes, but their magnitude is not well captured. This work provides a foundation for future analyses of the interactions between perennial bioenergy crops and carbon, water, and energy dynamics in the larger earth system and can also be used for studying the impact of future biofuel expansion on climate and terrestrial systems.

Eva Sinha et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CEC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-244', Astrid Kerkweg, 21 Jul 2021
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-244', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Aug 2021
    • RC2: 'Reply on RC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Aug 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on gmd-2021-244', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Dec 2021

Eva Sinha et al.

Eva Sinha et al.


Total article views: 733 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
598 117 18 733 3 4
  • HTML: 598
  • PDF: 117
  • XML: 18
  • Total: 733
  • BibTeX: 3
  • EndNote: 4
Views and downloads (calculated since 21 Jul 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 21 Jul 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 678 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 678 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 17 Jan 2022
Short summary
Perennial bioenergy crops are not well represented in global land models, despite projected increase in their production. Our study expands Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) Land Model (ELM) to include perennial bioenergy crops and calibrates the model for miscanthus and switchgrass. The calibrated model captures the seasonality and magnitude of carbon and energy fluxes. This study provides the foundation for future research examining the impact of perennial bioenergy crop expansion.