A. Arneth

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Carlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (234)717.97 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We present a parsimonious agricultural land-use model that is designed to replicate global land-use change while allowing the exploration of uncertainties in input parameters. At the global scale, the modelled uncertainty range of agricultural land-use change covers observed land-use change. Spatial patterns of cropland change at the country level are simulated less satisfactorily, but temporal trends of cropland change in large agricultural nations were replicated by the model. A variance-based global sensitivity analysis showed that uncertainties in the input parameters representing to consumption preferences are important for changes in global agricultural areas. However, uncertainties in technological change had the largest effect on cereal yields and changes in global agricultural area. Uncertainties related to technological change in developing countries were most important for modelling the extent of cropland. The performance of the model suggests that highly generalised representations of socio-economic processes can be used to replicate global land-use change.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Environmental Modelling and Software
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    ABSTRACT: Biomass burning impacts vegetation dynamics, biogeochemical cycling, atmospheric chemistry, and climate, with sometimes deleterious socio-economic impacts. Under future climate projections it is often expected that the risk of wildfires will increase. Our ability to predict the magnitude and geographic pattern of future fire impacts rests on our ability to model fire regimes, either using well-founded empirical relationships or process-based models with good predictive skill. A large variety of models exist today and it is still unclear which type of model or degree of complexity is required to model fire adequately at regional to global scales. This is the central question underpinning the creation of the Fire Model Intercomparison Project – FireMIP, an international project to compare and evaluate existing global fire models against benchmark data sets for present-day and historical conditions. In this paper we summarise the current state-of-the-art in fire regime modelling and model evaluation, and outline what lessons may be learned from FireMIP.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Biogeosciences Discussions
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    W. Knorr · L. Jiang · A. Arneth
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    ABSTRACT: Wildfires are by far the largest contributor to global biomass burning and constitute a large global source of atmospheric traces gases and aerosols. Such emissions have a considerable impact on air quality and constitute a major health hazard. Biomass burning also influences the radiative balance of the atmosphere and is thus not only of societal, but also of significant scientific interest. There is a common perception that climate change will lead to an increase in emissions as hot and dry weather events that promote wildfire will become more common. However, even though a few studies have found that the inclusion of CO2 fertilisation of photosynthesis and changes in human population patterns will tend to somewhat lower predictions of future wildfire emissions, no such study has included full ensemble ranges of both climate predictions and population projections, including the effect of different degrees of urbanisation.Here, we present a series of 124 simulations with the LPJ–GUESS–SIMFIRE global dynamic vegetation–wildfire model, including a semi-empirical formulation for the prediction of burned area based on fire weather, fuel continuity and human population density. The simulations use Climate Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) climate predictions from eight Earth system models. These were combined with two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and five scenarios of future human population density based on the series of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) to assess the sensitivity of emissions to the effect of climate, CO2 and humans. In addition, two alternative parameterisations of the semi-empirical burned-area model were applied. Contrary to previous work, we find no clear future trend of global wildfire emissions for the moderate emissions and climate change scenario based on the RCP 4.5. Only historical population change introduces a decline by around 15 % since 1900. Future emissions could either increase for low population growth and fast urbanisation, or continue to decline for high population growth and slow urbanisation. Only for high future climate change (RCP8.5), wildfire emissions start to rise again after ca. 2020 but are unlikely to reach the levels of 1900 by the end of the 21st century. We find that climate warming will generally increase the risk of fire, but that this is only one of several equally important factors driving future levels of wildfire emissions, which include population change, CO2 fertilisation causing woody thickening, increased productivity and fuel load and faster litter turnover in a warmer climate.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Biogeosciences
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    ABSTRACT: Nitrogen (N) cycle dynamics and N deposition play an important role in determining the terrestrial biosphere's carbon (C) balance. We assess global and biome-specific N deposition effects on C sequestration rates with the dynamic global vegetation model LPJ-GUESS. Modeled CN interactions are evaluated by comparing predictions of the C and CN version of the model with direct observations of C fluxes from 68 forest FLUXNET sites. N limitation on C uptake reduced overestimation of gross primary productivity for boreal evergreen needleleaf forests from 56% to 18%, presenting the greatest improvement among forest types. Relative N deposition effects on C sequestration (dC/dN) in boreal, temperate, and tropical sites ranged from 17 to 26 kg C kg N−1 when modeled at site scale and were reduced to 12–22 kg C kg N−1 at global scale. We find that 19% of the recent (1990–2007) and 24% of the historical global C sink (1900–2006) was driven by N deposition effects. While boreal forests exhibit highest dC/dN, their N deposition-induced C sink was relatively low and is suspected to stay low in the future as no major changes in N deposition rates are expected in the boreal zone. N deposition induced a greater C sink in temperate and tropical forests, while predicted C fluxes and N-induced C sink response in tropical forests were associated with greatest uncertainties. Future work should be directed at improving the ability of LPJ-GUESS and other process-based ecosystem models to reproduce C cycle dynamics in the tropics, facilitated by more benchmarking data sets. Furthermore, efforts should aim to improve understanding and model representations of N availability (e.g., N fixation and organic N uptake), N limitation, P cycle dynamics, and effects of anthropogenic land use and land cover changes.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
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    ABSTRACT: The integrated Land Ecosystem - Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS) is an international research project focussing on the fundamental processes that link land–atmosphere exchange, climate, the water cycle, and tropospheric chemistry. The project, iLEAPS, was established 2004 within the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). During its first decade, iLEAPS has proven to be a vital project, well equipped to build a community to address the challenges involved in understanding the complex Earth system: multidisciplinary, integrative approaches for both observations and modelling. The iLEAPS community has made major advances in process understanding, land-surface modelling, and observation techniques and networks. The modes of iLEAPS operation include elucidating specific iLEAPS scientific questions through networks of process studies, field campaigns, modelling, long-term integrated field studies, international interdisciplinary mega-campaigns, synthesis studies, databases, as well as conferences on specific scientific questions and synthesis meetings. Another essential component of iLEAPS is knowledge transfer and it also encourages community- and policy-related outreach activities associated with the regional integrative projects.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Anthropocene
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    Full-text · Dataset · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and a methodology to quantify all major components of the global carbon budget, including their uncertainties, based on the combination of a range of data, algorithms, statistics, and model estimates and their interpretation by a broad scientific community. We discuss changes compared to previous estimates as well as consistency within and among components, alongside methodology and data limitations. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry (EFF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, while emissions from land-use change (ELUC), mainly deforestation, are based on combined evidence from land-cover-change data, fire activity associated with deforestation, and models. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its rate of growth (GATM) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The mean ocean CO2 sink (SOCEAN) is based on observations from the 1990s, while the annual anomalies and trends are estimated with ocean models. The variability in SOCEAN is evaluated with data products based on surveys of ocean CO2 measurements. The global residual terrestrial CO2 sink (SLAND) is estimated by the difference of the other terms of the global carbon budget and compared to results of independent dynamic global vegetation models forced by observed climate, CO2, and land-cover change (some including nitrogen–carbon interactions). We compare the mean land and ocean fluxes and their variability to estimates from three atmospheric inverse methods for three broad latitude bands. All uncertainties are reported as ±1σ, reflecting the current capacity to characterise the annual estimates of each component of the global carbon budget. For the last decade available (2005–2014), EFF was 9.0 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, ELUC was 0.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, GATM was 4.4 ± 0.1 GtC yr−1, SOCEAN was 2.6 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND was 3.0 ± 0.8 GtC yr−1. For the year 2014 alone, EFF grew to 9.8 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, 0.6 % above 2013, continuing the growth trend in these emissions, albeit at a slower rate compared to the average growth of 2.2 % yr−1 that took place during 2005–2014. Also, for 2014, ELUC was 1.1 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, GATM was 3.9 ± 0.2 GtC yr−1, SOCEAN was 2.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND was 4.1 ± 0.9 GtC yr−1. GATM was lower in 2014 compared to the past decade (2005–2014), reflecting a larger SLAND for that year. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 397.15 ± 0.10 ppm averaged over 2014. For 2015, preliminary data indicate that the growth in EFF will be near or slightly below zero, with a projection of −0.6 [range of −1.6 to +0.5] %, based on national emissions projections for China and the USA, and projections of gross domestic product corrected for recent changes in the carbon intensity of the global economy for the rest of the world. From this projection of EFF and assumed constant ELUC for 2015, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach about 555 ± 55 GtC (2035 ± 205 GtCO2) for 1870–2015, about 75 % from EFF and 25 % from ELUC. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new carbon budget compared with previous publications of this data set (Le Quéré et al., 2015, 2014, 2013). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi:10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2015).
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Earth System Science Data
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    ABSTRACT: It is over three decades since a large terrestrial carbon sink (S T) was first reported. The magnitude of the net sink is now relatively well known, and its importance for dampening atmospheric CO2 accumulation, and hence climate change, widely recognised. But the contributions of underlying processes are not well defined, particularly the role of emissions from land-use change (E LUC) versus the biospheric carbon uptake (S L; S T?=?S L???E LUC). One key aspect of the interplay of E LUC and S L is the role of agricultural processes in land-use change emissions, which has not yet been clearly quantified at the global scale. Here we assess the effect of representing agricultural land management in a dynamic global vegetation model. Accounting for harvest, grazing and tillage resulted in cumulative E LUC since 1850 ca. 70% larger than in simulations ignoring these processes, but also changed the timescale over which these emissions occurred and led to underestimations of the carbon sequestered by possible future reforestation actions. The vast majority of Earth system models in the recent IPCC Fifth Assessment Report omit these processes, suggesting either an overestimation in their present-day S T, or an underestimation of S L, of up to 1.0 Pg C a?1. Management processes influencing crop productivity per se are important for food supply, but were found to have little influence on E LUC.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Environmental Research Letters

  • No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Biology Bulletin
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    ABSTRACT: Direct measurements of CO2 fluxes by the eddy covariance method have demonstrated that the examined middle-taiga pine forest, raised bog, true steppe, and southern tundra along the Yenisei meridian (~90° E) are carbon sinks of different capacities according to annual output. The tundra acts as a carbon sink starting from June; forest and bog, from May; and steppe, from the end of April. In transitional seasons and winter, the ecosystems are a weak source of carbon; this commences from September in the tundra, from October in the forest and bog, and from November in the steppe. The photosynthetic productivity of forest and steppe ecosystems, amounting to 480–530 g C/(m2 year), exceeds by 2–2.5 times that of bogs and tundras, 200–220 g C/(m2 year). The relationships between the heat balance structure and CO2 exchange are shown. Possible feedback of carbon exchange between the ecosystems and atmosphere as a result of climate warming in the region are assessed.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Biology Bulletin
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    ABSTRACT: Disproportional warming in the northern high latitudes, and large carbon stocks in boreal and (sub)arctic ecosystems have raised concerns as to whether substantial positive climate feedbacks from biogeochemical process responses should be expected. Such feedbacks occur if increasing temperatures lead to e.g. a net release of CO2 or CH4. However, temperature-enhanced emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) have been shown to contribute to the growth of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) which is known to have a negative radiative climate effect. Combining measurements in Eastern Siberia with model-based estimates of vegetation and permafrost dynamics, BVOC emissions and aerosol growth, we assess here possible future changes in ecosystem CO2 balance and BVOC-SOA interactions, and discuss these changes in terms of possible climate effects. On global level, both are very small but when concentrating on Siberia and the northern hemisphere the negative forcing from changed aerosol direct and indirect effects become notable – even though the associated temperature response would not necessarily follow a similar spatial pattern. While our analysis does not include other important processes that are of relevance for the climate system, the CO2 and BVOC-SOA interplay used serves as an example of the complexity of the interactions between emissions and vegetation dynamics that underlie individual terrestrial feedbacks and highlights the importance of addressing ecosystem-climate feedbacks in consistent, process-based model frameworks.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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    ABSTRACT: Global environmental changes and human activity influence wildland fires worldwide, but the relative importance of the individual factors varies regionally and their interplay can be difficult to disentangle. Here we evaluate projected future changes in burned area at the European and sub-European scale, and we investigate uncertainties in the relative importance of the determining factors. We simulated future burned area with LPJ-GUESS-SIMFIRE, a patch-dynamic global vegetation model with a semi-empirical fire model, and LPJmL-SPITFIRE, a dynamic global vegetation model with a process-based fire model. Applying a range of future projections that combine different scenarios for climate changes, enhanced CO2 concentrations and population growth, we investigated the individual and combined effects of these drivers on the total area and regions affected by fire in the 21st century. The two models differed notably with respect to the dominating drivers and underlying processes. Fire-vegetation interactions and socio-economic effects emerged as important uncertainties for future burned area in some European regions. Burned area of eastern Europe increased in both models, pointing at an emerging new fire-prone region that should gain further attention for future fire management.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
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    Full-text · Dataset · Sep 2015
  • W. Knorr · L. Jiang · A. Arneth
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    ABSTRACT: Wildfires are by far the largest contributor to global biomass burning and constitute a large global source of atmospheric traces gases and aerosols. Such emissions have a considerable impact on air quality and constitute a major health hazard. Biomass burning also influences the radiative balance of the atmosphere and is thus not only of societal, but also of significant scientific interest. There is a common perception that climate change will lead to an increase in emissions as hot and dry weather events that promote wildfire will become more common. However, even though a few studies have found that the inclusion of CO2 fertilization of photosynthesis and changes in human population patterns will tend to somewhat lower predictions of future wildfire emissions, no such study has included full ensemble ranges of both climate predictions and population projections, including the effect of different degrees of urbanisation. Here, we present a series of 124 simulations with the LPJ-GUESS-SIMFIRE global dynamic vegetation – wildfire model, including a semi-empirical formulation for the prediction of burned area based on fire weather, fuel continuity and human population density. The simulations comprise Climate Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) climate predictions from eight Earth system models using two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and five scenarios of future human population density based on the series of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), sensitivity tests for the effect of climate and CO2, as well as a sensitivity analysis using two alternative parameterisations of the semi-empirical burned-area model. Contrary to previous work, we find no clear future trend of global wildfire emissions for the moderate emissions and climate change scenario based on the RCP 4.5. Only historical population change introduces a decline by around 15 % since 1900. Future emissions could either increase for low population growth and fast urbanisation, or continue to decline for high population growth and slow urbanisation. Only for high future climate change (RCP8.5), wildfire emissions start to rise again after ca. 2020 but are unlikely to reach the levels of 1900 by the end of the 21st century. We find that climate warming will generally increase the risk of fire, but that this is only one of several equally important factors driving future levels of wildfire emissions, which include population change, CO2 fertilisation causing woody thickening, increased productivity and fuel load, and faster litter turnover in a warmer climate.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Biogeosciences Discussions
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    Full-text · Dataset · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We modelled the carbon (C) cycle in Mexico with a process-based approach. We used different available products (satellite data, field measurements, models and flux towers) to estimate C stocks and fluxes in the country at three different time frames: present (defined as the period 2000–2005), the past century (1901–2000) and the remainder of this century (2010–2100). Our estimate of the gross primary productivity (GPP) for the country was 2137 ± 1023 Tg C yr−1 and a total C stock of 34 506 ± 7483 Tg C, with 20 347 ± 4622 Pg C in vegetation and 14 159 ± 3861 in the soil. Contrary to other current estimates for recent decades, our results showed that Mexico was a C sink over the period 1990–2009 (+31 Tg C yr−1) and that C accumulation over the last century amounted to 1210 ± 1040 Tg C. We attributed this sink to the CO2 fertilization effect on GPP, which led to an increase of 3408 ± 1060 Tg C, while both climate and land use reduced the country C stocks by −458 ± 1001 and −1740 ± 878 Tg C, respectively. Under different future scenarios the C sink will likely continue over 21st century, with decreasing C uptake as the climate forcing becomes more extreme. Our work provides valuable insights on relevant driving processes of the C-cycle such as the role of drought in marginal lands (e.g. grasslands and shrublands) and the impact of climate change on the mean residence time of C in tropical ecosystems.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Biogeosciences Discussions
  • Almut Arneth
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    ABSTRACT: How will Earth's vegetation cover respond to climate change, and how does this compare with changes associated with human land use? Modelling studies reveal how little we still know, and act as a clarion call for further work.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Nature
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    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Environmental Research Letters
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    ABSTRACT: Climate change and its impacts already pose considerable challenges for societies that will further increase with global warming (IPCC, 2014a, b). Uncertainties of the climatic response to greenhouse gas emissions include the potential passing of large-scale tipping points (e.g. Lenton et al., 2008; Levermann et al., 2012; Schellnhuber, 2010) and changes in extreme meteorological events (Field et al., 2012) with complex impacts on societies (Hallegatte et al., 2013). Thus climate change mitigation is considered a necessary societal response for avoiding uncontrollable impacts (Conference of the Parties, 2010). On the other hand, large-scale climate change mitigation itself implies fundamental changes in, for example, the global energy system. The associated challenges come on top of others that derive from equally important ethical imperatives like the fulfilment of increasing food demand that may draw on the same resources. For example, ensuring food security for a growing population may require an expansion of cropland, thereby reducing natural carbon sinks or the area available for bio-energy production. So far, available studies addressing this problem have relied on individual impact models , ignoring uncertainty in crop model and biome model projections. Here, we propose a probabilistic decision framework that allows for an evaluation of agricultural management and mitigation options in a multi-impact-model setting. Based on simulations generated within the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), we outline how cross-sectorally consistent multi-model impact simulations could be used to generate the information required for robust decision making. Using an illustrative future land use pattern, we discuss the trade-off between potential gains in crop production and associated losses in natural carbon sinks in the new multiple crop-and biome-model setting. In addition, crop and water model simulations are combined to explore irrigation increases as one possible measure of agricultural intensification that could limit the expansion of cropland required in response to climate change and growing food demand. This example shows that current impact model uncertainties pose an important challenge to long-term mitigation planning and must not be ignored in long-term strategic decision making.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Earth System Dynamics
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    ABSTRACT: We explore cropland management alternatives and the effect these can have on future C and N pools and fluxes using the land use-enabled dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS. Simulated crop production, cropland carbon storage, carbon sequestration and nitrogen leaching from croplands are evaluated and discussed. Compared to the version of LPJ-GUESS that does not include land use dynamics, estimates of soil carbon stocks and nitrogen leaching from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems were improved. We explore trade-offs between important ecosystem services that can be provided from agricultural fields such as crop yields, retention of nitrogen and carbon storage. These trade-offs are evaluated for current land use and climate and further explored for future conditions within the two future climate change scenarios, RCP 2.6 and 8.5. Our results show that the potential for carbon sequestration due to typical cropland management practices such as no-till and cover-crops proposed in literature is not realised, globally or over larger climatic regions. Our results highlight important considerations to be made when modelling C–N interactions in agricultural ecosystems under future environmental change, and the effects these have on terrestrial biogeochemical cycles.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Earth System Dynamics Discussions 

Publication Stats

7k Citations
717.97 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010-2016
    • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
      • • Department of Atmospheric Environmental Research
      • • Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research
      Carlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2003-2015
    • Lund University
      • Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
      Lund, Skåne, Sweden
    • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
      • Climate Impacts & Vulnerabilities - Research Domain II
      Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
  • 2012-2013
    • Klinikum Garmisch-Partenkirchen
      Markt Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2008-2010
    • University of Helsinki
      • • Department of Physics
      • • Department of Physical Sciences
      Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
  • 2002-2010
    • Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry Jena
      Jena, Thuringia, Germany
  • 2002-2003
    • Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
      Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 1998-2001
    • University of Lincoln
      • School of Social and Political Sciences
      Lincoln, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1996
    • University of Bayreuth
      • Chair of Plant Ecology
      Bayreuth, Bavaria, Germany