Articles | Volume 16, issue 4
Research article
27 Feb 2019
Research article |  | 27 Feb 2019

Evaluating the simulated mean soil carbon transit times by Earth system models using observations

Jing Wang, Jianyang Xia, Xuhui Zhou, Kun Huang, Jian Zhou, Yuanyuan Huang, Lifen Jiang, Xia Xu, Junyi Liang, Ying-Ping Wang, Xiaoli Cheng, and Yiqi Luo

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Cited articles

Ahlström, A., Raupach, M. R., Schurgers, G., Smith, B., Arneth, A., Jung, M., Reichstein, M., Canadell, J. G., Friedlingstein, P., Jain, A. K., and Kato, E.: The dominant role of semi-arid ecosystems in the trend and variability of the land CO2 sink, Science, 348, 895–899,, 2015. 
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Bloom, A. A., Exbrayat, J. F., van der Velde, I. R., Feng, L., and Williams, M.: The decadal state of the terrestrial carbon cycle: Global retrievals of terrestrial carbon allocation, pools, and residence times, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 113, 1285–1290,, 2016. 
Short summary
Soil is critical in mitigating climate change mainly because soil carbon turns over much slower in soils than vegetation and the atmosphere. However, Earth system models (ESMs) have large uncertainty in simulating carbon dynamics due to their biased estimation of soil carbon transit time (τsoil). Here, the τsoil estimates from 12 ESMs that participated in CMIP5 were evaluated by a database of measured τsoil. We detected a large spatial variation in measured τsoil across the globe.
Final-revised paper