Dynamical prediction of terrestrial ecosystems and the global carbon cycle: A 25-year hindcast experiment

Ning Zeng, Jin-Ho Yoon, Augustin Vintzileos, G. James Collatz, Eugenia Kalnay, Annarita Mariotti, Arun Kumar, Antonio Busalacchi, Stephen Lord

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Using a 25-year hindcast experiment, we explore the possibility of seasonal-interannual prediction of terrestrial ecosystems and the global carbon cycle. This has been achieved using a prototype forecasting system in which the dynamic vegetation and terrestrial carbon cycle model VEGAS was forced with 15-member ensemble climate predictions generated by the NOAA/NCEP coupled climate forecasting system (CFS) for the period 1981-2005, with lead times up to 9 months. The results show that the predictability is dominated by the ENSO signal with its major influence on the tropical and subtropical regions, including South America, Indonesia, southern Africa, eastern Australia, western United States, and central Asia. There is also important non-ENSO related predictability such as that associated with midlatitude drought Comparison of the dynamical prediction results with benchmark statistical prediction methods such as anomaly persistence and damping show that the dynamical method performs significantly better. The hindcasted ecosystem variables and carbon flux show significantly slower decrease in skill at longer lead time compared to the climate forcing variables, partly because of the memories in land and vegetation processes that filter out the higher-frequency noise and sustain the signal. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberGB4015
Pages (from-to)-
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Zeng, N., Yoon, J-H., Vintzileos, A., Collatz, G. J., Kalnay, E., Mariotti, A., Kumar, A., Busalacchi, A., & Lord, S. (2008). Dynamical prediction of terrestrial ecosystems and the global carbon cycle: A 25-year hindcast experiment. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 22(4), -. [GB4015]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008GB003183