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PalMod 2.3

PalMod 2.3 Methankreislauf Teilprojekt 2 Modellierung der Methanemissionen von Feucht- und Permafrostgebieten mithilfe von LPJmL
August 2015 until July 2019
287.009 € funded by BMBF, DLR: Nationale Paläoklimamodellierungsinitiative PalMod
Lucht, Wolfgang

The overarching goal during the first four years is to interactively simulate the full methane cycle during deglaciation within the model CLIMBER-LPJmL. This includes the simulation of natural wetlands as the largest natural source of methane within the land surface models, as well as the simulation of the atmospheric sink where methane is oxidized to CO2. Using these two components, the atmospheric concentration of methane will be determined, allowing a comparison to proxy data from ice cores. The transient simulation of climate changes from last glacial maximum to present day including a fully interactive methane cycle has never been attempted before. If successful, this will substantially improve the knowledge on patterns of methane emissions under a wide range of climate states, as well as the atmospheric sink of methane under a variety of boundary conditions. This goal will require a fully interactive model simulation of both sources and sinks of methane. Scientific questions to be investigated include • How can we explain the 75% increase in atmospheric methane between LGM and early Holocene? • What caused the large fluctuations in atmospheric methane during the YD/BA? • How does the distribution of methane sources change between LGM and Holocene? • How do the changes in climate affect the atmospheric oxidation of methane?

The postdoc will be responsible for the integration and calibration of permafrost carbon cycle, wetland carbon accumulation and wetland methane emission routines in LPJmL. While the seamless integration of these routines remains a challenge requiring considerable expertise, the development for LPJmL is considerably more advanced than for JSBACH. Therefore less time is required for implementation and integration, making development on a 75% position feasible. Nontheless, the computational tasks in the project are very ambitious. Throughout the project a substantial number of model experiments will have to be carried out for model development and validation, and the sensitivity experiments envisaged will be close to computational limits.