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Greencycles II

WP1 – Data and Benchmarking

Leader : Max Planck Institute for BiogeochemistryDr Sönke Zaehle

Input to Science and Environmental Policy: WP1 – Briefing Paper


The overall objective of WP1 is to develop novel datasets and methodologies for the rigorous evaluation of Earth System Models (ESMs) with respect to their projections of future states.

Specific methodological objectives include:

  • Compilation and harmonisation of existing in situ measurements, atmospheric observations, and remote sensing data.
  • Development of novel techniques to combine knowledge from models and data to improve understanding and prediction of Earth system processes.

Specific activities will focus on filling critical data gaps concerning:

  • Fire dynamics during the recent past (1981-2008) and on centennial timescales
  • Net sea- air carbon fluxes in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Rapid shifts in the carbon-climate system during glacial-interglacial cycles
  • Contemporary global surface temperature and hydrology
WP1 Word Cloud



  • Joint work package position paper with WP2 and WP3, describing the state-of-the-art with respect to using ESM evaluations to constrain future projections – more details coming soon!

Scientific products:

  • A framework for benchmarking the reliability of ESMs in predicting Earth system feedbacks – please see Dalmonech and Zaehle (2013) for further information on this deliverable
  • Four new datasets based on T1.2-T1.6 provided as individual reports documenting the quantitative evidence and their implications for Earth System science

Science Tasks

T1.1 Benchmarking datasets for the evaluation of ecosystem models
Fellow: Dr Daniela Dalmonech (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry)
Supervisor: Dr Sönke Zaehle (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry)
Secondary Supervisors: Dr Laurent Bopp (Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique), Dr Filipe Aires (Estellus)

T1.2 A long-term burned area map database
Fellow: Gerardo López Saldaña (Instituto Superior de Agronomia)
Supervisor: Prof José Pereira (Instituto Superior de Agronomia)
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Filipe Aires (Estellus)

T1.3 Evaluation of vegetation and fire simulations using palaeodata
Fellow: Maria Martin-Calvo (Imperial College London)
Supervisor: Prof Colin Prentice (Imperial College London)
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Jérôme Chappellaz (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

T1.4 The changing uptake and transport of carbon in the Atlantic Ocean
Fellow: Peter Landschützer (University of East Anglia)
Supervisors: Dr Dorothee Bakker (University of East Anglia), Dr Ute Schuster (University of Exeter)
Secondary Supervisor: Prof Nicolas Gruber (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)

T1.5 Constraints using carbon isotopes in ice cores
Fellow: Miral Shah (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
Supervisor: Dr Jérôme Chappellaz (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
Secondary Supervisor: Prof Colin Prentice (Imperial College London)

T1.6 Constraints on surface temperature and terrestrial hydrology using remote sensing
Fellow: Jana Kolassa (Estellus)
Supervisor: Dr Filipe Aires (Estellus)
Secondary Supervisor: Prof José Pereira (Instituto Superior de Agronomia)