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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-175
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-175
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 13 Aug 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 13 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

JULES-BE: representation of bioenergy crops and harvesting in the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator vn5.1

Emma W. Littleton1,2, Anna B. Harper2,3, Naomi E. Vaughan4, Rebecca J. Oliver5, Maria Carolina Duran-Rojas2,3, and Timothy M. Lenton1,2 Emma W. Littleton et al.
  • 1College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QE, United Kingdom
  • 2Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QE, United Kingdom
  • 3College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QE, United Kingdom
  • 4Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom
  • 5Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Benson Lane, Wallingford, OX10 8BB, United Kingdom

Abstract. We describe developments to a land surface model, allowing for flexible user-prescribed harvest regimes of various perennial bioenergy crops or natural vegetation types. Our aim is to integrate the most useful aspects of dedicated bioenergy models into dynamic global vegetation models, in order that assessment of bioenergy options can benefit from state-of-the-art Earth system modelling. A new plant functional type (PFT) representing Miscanthus is also presented. The Miscanthus PFT fits well with growth parameters observed at a site in Lincolnshire, UK; however, global observed yields of Miscanthus are far more variable than is captured by the model, suggesting missing model components that influence growth and yields. Global expansion of bioenergy crop areas under a 2 °C emissions scenario and balanced greenhouse gas mitigation strategy from the IMAGE integrated assessment model (RCP2.6-SSP2) achieves a mean yield of 4.3 billion tonnes dry matter per year over 2040–2099, around 30 % higher than the biomass availability projected by IMAGE. In addition to perennial grasses, JULES-BE can also be used to represent short-rotation coppicing; residue harvesting from cropland or forestry; and rotation forestry.

Emma W. Littleton et al.
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Latest update: 17 Aug 2019
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Short summary
This study presents new functionality to represent bioenergy crops and harvests in JULES, a land surface model. Such processes must be explicitly represented before the environmental effects of large-scale bioenergy production can be fully evaluated, using Earth system modelling. This new functionality allows for many types of bioenergy plants and harvesting regimes to be simulated, such as perennial grasses, short rotation coppicing, and forestry rotations.
This study presents new functionality to represent bioenergy crops and harvests in JULES, a land...
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