Submitted as: model description paper
06 Jan 2023
Submitted as: model description paper | 06 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

The Earth system model CLIMBER-X v1.0 – Part 2: The global carbon cycle

Matteo Willeit1, Tatiana Ilyina2, Bo Liu2, Christoph Heinze3, Mahé Perrette1, Malte Heinemann4, Daniela Dalmonech5, Victor Brovkin2,6,1, Guy Munhoven7, Janine Börker8, Jens Hartmann8, Gibran Romero-Mujalli8, and Andrey Ganopolski1 Matteo Willeit et al.
  • 1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 4Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  • 5Institute for Agriculture and Forestry Systems in the Mediterranean, National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ISAFOM), Perugia, Italy
  • 6CEN, University of Hamburg, Germany
  • 7Dépt. d’Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium
  • 8Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. The carbon cycle component of the newly developed Earth System Model of intermediate complexity CLIMBER-X is presented. The model represents the cycling of carbon through atmosphere, vegetation, soils, seawater and marine sediments. Exchanges of carbon with geological reservoirs occur through sediment burial, rock weathering and volcanic degassing. The state-of-the-art HAMOCC6 model is employed to simulate ocean biogeochemistry and marine sediments processes. The land model PALADYN simulates the processes related to vegetation and soil carbon dynamics, including permafrost and peatlands. The dust cycle in the model allows for an interactive determination of the input of the micro-nutrient iron into the ocean. A rock weathering scheme is implemented into the model, with the weathering rate depending on lithology, runoff and soil temperature. CLIMBER-X includes a simple representation of the methane cycle, with explicitly modelled natural emissions from land and the assumption of a constant residence time of CH4 in the atmosphere. Carbon isotopes 13C and 14C are tracked through all model compartments and provide a useful diagnostic for model-data comparison.

A comprehensive evaluation of the model performance for present–day and the historical period shows that CLIMBER-X is capable of realistically reproducing the historical evolution of atmospheric CO2 and CH4, but also the spatial distribution of carbon on land and the 3D structure of biogeochemical ocean tracers. The analysis of model performance is complemented by an assessment of carbon cycle feedbacks and model sensitivities compared to state-of-the-art CMIP6 models.

Enabling interactive carbon cycle in CLIMBER-X results in a relatively minor slow-down of model computational performance by ~20 %, compared to a throughput of ~10,000 simulation years per day on a single node with 16 CPUs on a high performance computer in a climate–only model setup. CLIMBER-X is therefore well suited to investigate the feedbacks between climate and the carbon cycle on temporal scales ranging from decades to >100,000 years.

Matteo Willeit et al.

Status: open (until 03 Mar 2023)

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Matteo Willeit et al.

Matteo Willeit et al.


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Short summary
In this paper we present the carbon cycle component of the newly developed fast Earth system model CLIMBER-X. The model can be run with interactive atmospheric CO2 to investigate the feedbacks between climate and the carbon cycle on temporal scales ranging from decades to >100,000 years. CLIMBER-X is available as open-source code and is expected to be a useful tool for studying past climate-carbon cycle changes and for the investigation of the long-term future evolution of the Earth system.