Publications of Alexandra-Jane Henrot
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See detailreactive gases in the chemistry climate model ECHAM6-HAMMOZ
Schultz, Martin; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege

Report (2016)

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See detailMiddle Miocene climate and vegetation models and their validation with proxy data
Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege; Utescher, T.; Erdei, B. et al

Report (2016)

The Miocene is a relatively recent epoch of the Earth's history with warmer climate than today, particularly during the middle Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO, approximately 17-15Ma). Although the cause of ... [more ▼]

The Miocene is a relatively recent epoch of the Earth's history with warmer climate than today, particularly during the middle Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO, approximately 17-15Ma). Although the cause of the warming is probably not only attributable to CO2, but also to changes in orography and configuration of ocean gateways, this time interval represents an ideal case study to test the ability of climate models to simulate warm climates comparable to those that the Earth may experience in the near future. However, even with higher than present-day CO2 concentrations, the MMCO warming inferred from terrestrial proxy data has been difficult to reproduce in climate models.Since fossil flora do not provide direct information on climate, but on flora and vegetation, climate model results are generally compared to climate reconstructions obtained from the fossil flora. In this study, we apply an alternative method by simulating palaeovegetation from the outputs of the climate model, using a dynamic vegetation model. Model vegetation reconstruction can then be compared to the vegetation cover indicated by the fossil flora record at the various localities, provided that a common classification of plant functional types (PFTs) is used for the data and the model. Here, we reconstruct the vegetation of the middle Miocene with the global dynamic vegetation model CARAIB, using the climatologies derived from five atmospheric general circulation models. The reliability of the simulations is examined on a presence/absence basis of PFTs by comparison of vegetation reconstructions to palaeoflora data recorded in the Northern Hemisphere and the Tropics.This comparison provides an overall agreement around 60% between model and data, when all sites and tree types are considered. Three model simulations out of five show to be better at predicting the absence than the presence. The presence of warm-temperate mixed forests in the middle latitudes, dominated by broadleaved deciduous warm temperate and subtropical trees is generally well reproduced in CARAIB simulations. However, poor agreement is obtained for the presence of tropical PFTs out of the Tropics and for warm PFTs at latitudes northward of 50°N, where climate models remain too cold to produce assemblages of trees consistent with the data. Nevertheless, the model-data comparison performed here highlights several mismatches that could result not only from missing feedbacks in the climate simulations, but also from the data. The results of the likelihood analysis on presence/absence of PFTs illustrate the uncertainties in the PFT classification of the Neogene floral records. The coexistence of some PFTs in the palaeovegetation data is impossible to reproduce in the vegetation model simulations because of the climatic definition of the modern PFTs. This result indicates either a bias in the identification of modern analogues for fossil plant taxa, or a possible evolution of environmental requirements of certain plants. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing the Risk of Ecosystem Disruption in Europe using a Dynamic Vegetation Model driven by CMIP5 Regional Climatic Projections from EURO-CORDEX
Dury, Marie ULiege; Hambuckers, Alain ULiege; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege et al

Conference (2015, December 18)

While the combination of warmer and drier mean climatic conditions can have severe impacts on ecosystems, extreme events like droughts or heat waves that break the gradual climate change can have more ... [more ▼]

While the combination of warmer and drier mean climatic conditions can have severe impacts on ecosystems, extreme events like droughts or heat waves that break the gradual climate change can have more long-term consequences on ecosystem composition, functioning and carbon storage. Hence, it is essential to assess the changes in climatic variability and the changes in frequency of extreme events projected for the future. Ecosystems could not be in a condition to adapt to these new conditions and might be disrupted. Here, the process-based dynamic vegetation model CARAIB DVM was used to evaluate and analyze how future climate and extreme events will affect European ecosystems. To quantify the uncertainties in the climatic projections and in their potential impacts on ecosystems, the vegetation model was driven with the outputs of different regional climatic models (RCMs), nested in CMIP5 GCM projections for the EURO-CORDEX project. We used the ALADIN version 5.3 (Météo-France/CNRM) and other EURO-CORDEX RCMs. These climatic projections are at a high spatial resolution (0.11-degree, ~12 km). CARAIB simulations were performed across Europe over the historical period 1951-2005 and the future period 2006-2100 under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios. We simulated a set of 99 individual species (47 herbs, 12 shrubs and 40 trees) representing the major European ecosystem flora. First, we analyzed the climatic variability simulated by the climatic models over the historical period and compared it with the observed climatic variability. None of these climatic models can reproduce accurately the present natural climatic variability. Then, to assess the risk of ecosystem disruption in the future and to identify the vulnerable areas in Europe, we created an index combining several CARAIB outputs: runoff, mean NPP, soil turnover, burned area, appearance and disappearance of species. We evaluated the severity of change projected for these variables (period 2071-2100) relative to their current variability (period 1961-1990). Mean changes were considered severe if they exceed observed variability. The highest values of the index were found in southern Europe, indicating that the amplitude of the expected ecosystem changes largely exceeds current interannual variability in this area. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysing the response of European ecosystems to droughts and heat waves within ISI-MIP2 simulations
Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege; Dury, Marie ULiege; François, Louis ULiege et al

Conference (2015, December 14)

With unprecedented speed and extent, the future climate change can be expected to severely impact terrestrial ecosystems due to more frequent extreme events, such as droughts or heat waves. What will be ... [more ▼]

With unprecedented speed and extent, the future climate change can be expected to severely impact terrestrial ecosystems due to more frequent extreme events, such as droughts or heat waves. What will be the impacts of these extreme events on ecosystem functioning and structure? How far will net primary production be reduced by such events? What will be the impact on plant mortality? Could such events trigger changes in the abundance of plant species, thus leading to biome shifts? In this contribution, we propose to use ISI-MIP2 model historical simulations from the biome sector to analyse the response of ecosystems to droughts or heat waves, trying to understand the differences between several vegetation models (e.g. CARAIB, HYBRID, LPJ). The analysis will focus on Europe. It will compare and assess the model responses for a series of well-marked drought or heat wave events in the simulated historical period, such as those that occurred in 1976, 2003 or 2010. This analysis will be performed in terms of several important environmental variables, like soil water and hydric stress, runoff, PFT abundance, net primary productivity and biomass, fire frequency, turnover of soil organic matter, etc. Whenever possible, the response of the model will be compared to available data for the most recent well-marked events. Examples of data to be used are eddy covariance, satellite data (including leaf area and fire occurrence) or tree rings. [less ▲]

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See detailLand cover maps, BVOC emissions and SOA burden in a global aerosol-climate model
Stanelle, Tanja; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege; Bey, Isabelle

Poster (2015, April)

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See detailModelling carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems in Western Europe using the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model: evaluation against eddy covariance data.
Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege; François, Louis ULiege; Dury, Marie ULiege et al

Poster (2015, April)

Eddy covariance measurements are an essential resource to understand how ecosystem carbon fluxes react in response to climate change, and to help to evaluate and validate the performance of land surface ... [more ▼]

Eddy covariance measurements are an essential resource to understand how ecosystem carbon fluxes react in response to climate change, and to help to evaluate and validate the performance of land surface and vegetation models at regional and global scale. In the framework of the MASC project (« Modelling and Assessing Surface Change impacts on Belgian and Western European climate »), vegetation dynamics and carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems simulated by the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) are evaluated and validated by comparison of the model predictions with eddy covariance data. Here carbon fluxes (e.g. net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary productivity (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (RECO)) and evapotranspiration (ET) simulated with the CARAIB model are compared with the fluxes measured at several eddy covariance flux tower sites in Belgium and Western Europe, chosen from the FLUXNET global network (http://fluxnet.ornl.gov/). CARAIB is forced either with surface atmospheric variables derived from the global CRU climatology, or with in situ meteorological data. Several tree (e.g. Pinus sylvestris, Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies) and grass species (e.g. Poaceae, Asteraceae) are simulated, depending on the species encountered on the studied sites. The aim of our work is to assess the model ability to reproduce the daily, seasonal and interannual variablility of carbon fluxes and the carbon dynamics of forest and grassland ecosystems in Belgium and Western Europe. [less ▲]

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See detailBVOC emissions and SOA burden in a global aerosol-climate model
Stanelle, T.; Siegenthaler, C.; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege et al

Conference (2015, March)

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See detailModelling biogenic volatile organic compound emissions with ECHAM6-HAMMOZ and MEGAN models
Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege; Schröder, S.; Schultz, M. G.

Conference (2014, March)

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See detailMiddle Miocene climate and vegetation model reconstructions and their validation with the NECLIME database
François, Louis ULiege; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege; Utescher, Torsten et al

Conference (2014)

The NECLIME database gathers data of the fossil flora recorded at many localities around the world at different times of the Miocene. François et al. (Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology ... [more ▼]

The NECLIME database gathers data of the fossil flora recorded at many localities around the world at different times of the Miocene. François et al. (Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 304, 359–378, 2011) have presented a new method for evaluating palaeoclimate model simulations from such fossil floras. In this method, palaeovegetation is simulated from climate model outputs, using a dynamic vegetation model. Model vegetation reconstruction is then compared to the vegetation cover indicated by the fossil flora record at the various localities, using a common classification of plant functional types (PFTs) in the data and the model. Here, we apply this method to test several published Middle Miocene climate simulations conducted with General Circulation Models of different complexity: (a) Planet Simulator, (b) FOAM-LMDZ4, (c) MPI-ESM, (d) CCSM3.0 and (4) CESM1.0. Corresponding palaeovegetation distributions are simulated with the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model, in which an upgraded vegetation classification involving 26 PFTs has been imple- mented. The NECLIME palaeoflora data from 154 localities distributed worldwide have been translated in terms of the presence/absence of these PFTs. A comparison of models and data is then undertaken globally and in selected regions of the world, using all available localities. The level of agreement varies among models, among PFTs and among regions. For instance, some models are able to produce tropical and subtropical PFTs in Europe consistently with the data, but the agreement for these PFTs may be much poorer in other parts of the world, such as in northeastern Eurasia. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of Middle Miocene palaeoclimate and palaeovegetation reconstructions and their validation using the NECLIME database
François, Louis ULiege; Utescher, Torsten; Hamon, Noemie et al

Conference (2013, October)

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See detailTesting palaeoclimate and palaeovegetation model reconstructions with palaeovegetation data : an application to the Middle Miocene
François, Louis ULiege; Utescher, Torsten; Hamon, Noémie et al

Poster (2013, April)

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See detailGrowth of subtropical forests in Miocene Europe: The roles of carbon dioxide and Antarctic ice volume
Hamon, Noémie; Sepulchre, Pierre; Donnadieu, Yannick et al

in Geology (2012), 40

The middle Miocene is a crucial period for the evolution of apes, and it corresponds to their <br /><br />appearance in Europe. The dispersion of apes was made possible by tectonic changes and the <br ... [more ▼]

The middle Miocene is a crucial period for the evolution of apes, and it corresponds to their <br /><br />appearance in Europe. The dispersion of apes was made possible by tectonic changes and the <br /><br />expansion of their habitat, (sub-) tropical forest, in Europe. The context in which the middle <br /><br />Miocene climatic optimum occurred still lacks constraints in terms of atmospheric pCO2 and <br /><br />ice-sheet volume and extent. Using a coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model <br /><br />(GCM) and dynamic vegetation model, we investigated the sensitivity of Miocene climate and <br /><br />vegetation to pCO2 levels and Antarctic ice-sheet confi gurations. Our results indicate that <br /><br />higher than present pCO2 is necessary to simulate subtropical forest in Western and Central <br /><br />Europe during the middle Miocene, but that a threshold at high pCO2 makes subtropical <br /><br />forest partly collapse. Moreover, removing ice over Antarctica modifi es oceanic circulation <br /><br />and induces warmer and slightly wetter conditions in Europe, which are consistent with the <br /><br />expansion of subtropical forest. These results suggest that a small East Antarctic Ice Sheet <br /><br />(25% of present-day ice volume) together with higher than present pCO2 values are in better <br /><br />agreement with available European middle Miocene data. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing the impacts of present and future interannual climate variability on European ecosystems using a dynamic vegetation model
Dury, Marie ULiege; Hambuckers, Alain ULiege; Warnant, Pierre et al

Poster (2011, April)

Climate projections indicate changes in mean climate as well as in climate variability and frequency of extreme events for the end of the 21st century compared to present. Since many biological processes ... [more ▼]

Climate projections indicate changes in mean climate as well as in climate variability and frequency of extreme events for the end of the 21st century compared to present. Since many biological processes reach non-reversible thresholds (loss of ability to germinate, mortality, etc.) at some temperatures or soil water values, changes in climate variability have long-term consequences for ecosystem composition, functioning and carbon storage. The CARAIB dynamic vegetation model is used to evaluate and analyse how future climate variability will affect European ecosystems. We examine the impacts of climate change and associated drought episodes on primary productivity (NPP) as well as on fire intensity. CARAIB is driven by the ARPEGE/Climate model and three regional climate models from the European Union project ENSEMBLES (KNMI-RACMO2, DMI-HIRHAM5 and HC-HadRM3Q0 models) forced with the IPCC A1B emission scenario. We analyse the interannual climate variability simulated by those climate models and compare it with the observed climate variability (CRU TS 3.0 historical climate dataset) over the period 1961-1990. None of these climate models can reproduce accurately the present natural climate variability. Therefore, the present NPP interannual variability simulated by CARAIB using climate outputs from the climate models differs from the one obtained with observed climate. For instance, the NPP interannual variability obtained with the ARPEGE/Climate model is significantly overestimated in some parts of Europe, especially in the Mediterranean region, in France, in northern Germany and northern Poland, in the Balkans and in Ukraine. Since discrepancies between modelled and observed current climate variability may also affect NPP variability calculated for the future as well as the intensity and the frequency of severe drought periods and wildfires, comparing the terrestrial ecosystem evolutions obtained with a range of climate models allows to improve the assessment of climate change impacts on ecosystems in the future. Anyway the trend between the present and the future is expected to be more robust. The NPP interannual variability increases in the future with the four climate models as a result of more frequent and more severe soil water stress episodes in southern and Central Europe. The projected climate changes are also likely to induce increased fire risk in the Mediterranean region but also in Central Europe and Russia. [less ▲]

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See detailResponses of European forest ecosystems to 21(st) century climate: assessing changes in interannual variability and fire intensity
Dury, Marie ULiege; Hambuckers, Alain ULiege; Warnant, P. et al

in iForest: Biogeosciences and Forestry (2011), 4

Significant climatic changes are currently observed and, according to projections, will be strengthened over the 21(st) century throughout the world with the continuing increase of the atmospheric CO2 ... [more ▼]

Significant climatic changes are currently observed and, according to projections, will be strengthened over the 21(st) century throughout the world with the continuing increase of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Climate will be generally warmer with notably changes in the seasonality and in the precipitation regime. These changes will have major impacts on the biodiversity and the functioning of natural ecosystems. The CARAIB dynamic vegetation model driven by the ARPEGE/Climate model under forcing from the A2 IPCC emission scenario is used to illustrate and analyse the potential impacts of climate change on forest productivity and distribution as well as fire intensity over Europe. The potential CO2 fertilizing effect is studied throughout transient runs of the vegetation model over the 1961-2100 period assuming constant and increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration. Without fertilisation effect, the net primary productivity (NPP) might increase in high latitudes and altitudes (by up to 40 % or even 60-100 %) while it might decrease in temperate (by up to 50 %) and in warmer regions, e.g., Mediterranean area (by up to 80 %). This strong decrease in NPP is associated with recurrent drought events occurring mostly in summer time. Under rising CO2 concentration, NPP increases all over Europe by as much as 25-75%, but it is not clear whether or not soils might sustain such an increase. The model indicates also that interannual NPP variability might strongly increase in the areas which will undergo recurrent water stress in the future. During the years exhibiting summer drought, the NPP might decrease to values much lower than present-day average NPP even when CO2 fertilization is included. Moreover, years with such events will happen much more frequently than today. Regions with more severe droughts might also be affected by an increase of wildfire frequency and intensity, which may have large impacts on vegetation density and distribution. For instance, in the Mediterranean basin, the area burned by wildfire can be expected to increase by a factor of 3-5 at the end of the 21(st) century compared to present. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling Late Miocene vegetation in Europe: Results of the CARAIB model and comparison with palaeovegetation data
François, Louis ULiege; Utescher, T.; Favre, E. et al

in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2011), 304(3-4), 359-378

The CARAIB (CARbon Assimilation In the Biosphere) model is used to study the vegetation distribution during the Late Miocene (Tortonian). In this version, the plant classification is specifically adapted ... [more ▼]

The CARAIB (CARbon Assimilation In the Biosphere) model is used to study the vegetation distribution during the Late Miocene (Tortonian). In this version, the plant classification is specifically adapted to best represent Miocene European vegetation. Compared to other plant classifications used in global models, this adapted classification is more refined, since it is specifically developed for European vegetation and it includes various thermophylous tree types, which were present in Europe during the Miocene. The corresponding climatic tolerance parameters are based on the study of Laurent et al. (Journal of Vegetation Science, 15, 739-746, 2004) for the tree types currently present in Europe and on the distribution of analogue species in southeastern Asia and North/Central America for the thermophylous (sub-tropical) trees. The same classification is used to characterize the palaeoflora at the available Late Miocene localities, allowing a model-data comparison at the plant functional type level, rather than at the biome level. The climatic inputs to CARAIB are obtained from the COSMOS atmosphere-ocean general circulation model. The climatic anomalies (Tortonian minus Present) derived from COSMOS are interpolated to a higher spatial resolution before being used in the vegetation model. These anomalies are combined with a modern climatology to produce climatic fields with high spatial resolution (10' x 10'). This procedure has the advantage of making apparent relief features smaller than the grid cells of the climate model and, hence, makes easier the comparison with local vegetation data, although it does not really improve the quality of the Tortonian climate reconstruction. The new version of CARAIB was run over Europe at this higher spatial resolution. It calculates the potential distribution of 13 different classes of trees (including cold/cool/warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical types), together with their cover fractions, net primary productivities and biomasses. The resulting model vegetation distribution reconstructed for the Tortonian is compared to available palaeovegetation and pollen data. Before performing this comparison, the tree taxa present at the various data sites are assigned to one or several model classes, depending on the identification level of the taxa. If several classes are possible for a taxon, only those that can co-exist with the other tree classes identified at the site are retained. This methodology is similar to the co-existence approach used in palaeoclimatic reconstructions based on vegetation data. It narrows the range of tree types present at the various sites, by suppressing in the data the extreme types, such as the cold boreal/temperate and tropical trees. The method allows a comparison with the model simulation on a presence/absence basis. This comparison provides an overall agreement of 53% between the model and the data, when all sites and tree types are considered. The agreement is high (>85%) for needle-leaved summergreen boreal/temperate cold trees (Larix sp.) and for tropical trees, intermediate (>40%) for other boreal/temperate cold trees and for needle-leaved evergreen temperate cool trees, broadleaved summergreen temperate cool trees and broadleaved evergreen warm-temperate trees, and poor (<40%) for most temperate perhumid warm trees. In many cases, the model is shown to be better at predicting the absence than the presence, as observed for tropical trees. The modelled distributions of cold boreal/temperate trees tend to extend too much towards the south compared to the data. B contrast, model sub-tropical trees (temperate perhumid warm and needle-leaf summergreen temperate warm trees) appear to be restricted to some limited areas in southern Europe, while they are present in the data from central Europe up to at least 50 degrees N. Consequently, modelled Late Miocene climate appears to remain too cold to produce assemblages of trees consistent with the data. The predicted modelled trends from the past to the present are in the right direction, but the amplitude remains too small. For the simulations to be in a better agreement with the data, higher CO2 levels may be necessary in the climate simulations, or possibly other oceanic boundary conditions may be required, such as different bathymetry in the Panama seaway. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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