Permafrost and Climate Modelling

by Tanja Blome, Stefan Hagemann and Daniela Jacob



Permafrost, perennially frozen ground, affects almost one quarter of the Earth's land surface. Since it builds a globally relevant carbon reservoir which is situated in zones that are strongly sensitive to global warming, widespread melting of near-surface permafrost may enhance climate change through emissions of additional greenhouse gases.
Moreover, the thermal and hydrological state of the soil is decisive for the partition of heat fluxes between atmosphere and land surface, which makes it desirable to model them in a realistic way.

For these reasons,  the implementation of permafrost related processes into the MPI-M regional and global climate models is under development. Here processes are considered that are relevant as preconditions for coupled atmosphere-land surface modelling in cold areas, such as latent heat effects and the soil moisture dependency of soil's thermal properties. This implementation is initially being conducted in the regional climate model REMO (Jacob 2001), and  after successful testing it will be also done for the JSBACH land surface model (Raddatz et al. 2007).




* Jacob, D. (2001)

A note to the simulation of the annual and inter-annual variability of the water budget over the Baltic Sea drainage basin.

Meteorol. Atmos. Phys. 77: 61-73.


* Raddatz, T.J., C. Reick, W. Knorr, J. Kattge, E. Roeckner, R. Schnur, K.-G. Schnitzler, P. Wetzel and J. Jungclaus (2007)

Will the tropical land biosphere dominate the climate-carbon cycle feedback during the twenty-first century?

Clim. Dyn., doi: 10.1007/s00382-007-0247-8.

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