12 Feb 2021

12 Feb 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Land-Use Harmonization Datasets for Annual Global Carbon Budgets

Louise Chini1, George Hurtt1, Ritvik Sahajpal1, Steve Frolking2, Kees Klein Goldewijk3,7, Stephen Sitch4, Raphael Ganzenmüller6, Lei Ma1, Lesley Ott5, Julia Pongratz6, and Benjamin Poulter5 Louise Chini et al.
  • 1Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, U.S.A
  • 2Earth Systems Research Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, U.S.A
  • 3PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2500 GH The Hague, The Netherlands
  • 4Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QE, United Kingdom
  • 5NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, U.S.A
  • 6Department of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, D-80333, Germany
  • 7Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract. Land-use change has been the dominant source of anthropogenic carbon emissions for most of the historical period, and is currently one of the largest and most uncertain components of the global carbon cycle. Advancing the scientific understanding on this topic requires that the best data be used as input to state-of-the-art models in well-organized scientific assessments. The Land-Use Harmonization 2 dataset (LUH2), previously developed and used as input for CMIP6 simulations, has been updated annually to provide required input to land models in the annual Global Carbon Budget (GCB) assessments. Here we discuss the methodology for producing these annual LUH2-GCB updates and extensions which incorporate annual FAO wood harvest data updates for dataset years after 2015 and HYDE gridded cropland and grazing area data updates (based on annual FAO cropland and grazing area data updates) for dataset years after 2012, along with extrapolations to the current year due to a lag of one or more years in the FAO data releases. The resulting updated LUH2-GCB datasets have provided global, annual gridded land-use and land-use change data relating to agricultural expansion, deforestation, wood harvesting, shifting cultivation, regrowth and afforestation, crop rotations, and pasture management and are used by both bookkeeping models and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) for the GCB. For GCB 2019, a more significant update to LUH2 was produced, LUH2-GCB2019 (, Chini et al., 2020b), to take advantage of new data inputs that corrected cropland and grazing areas in the globally important region of Brazil, as far back as 1950. From 1951–2012 the LUH2-GCB2019 dataset begins to diverge from the version of LUH2 used for CMIP6, with peak differences in Brazil in the year 2000 for grazing land (difference of 100,000 km2) and in the year 2009 for cropland (difference of 77,000 km2), along with significant sub-national reorganization of agricultural land-use patterns within Brazil. The LUH2-GCB2019 dataset provides the base for future LUH2-GCB updates including the recent LUH2-GCB2020 dataset, and presents a starting point for operationalizing the creation of these datasets to reduce time-lags due to the multiple input dataset and model latencies.

Louise Chini et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2020-388', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Apr 2021 reply

Louise Chini et al.

Data sets

Land-Use Harmonization 2 update for use in Global Carbon Budget 2019 Louise Chini, George Hurtt, Ritvik Sahajpal, Steve Frolking, Kees Klein Goldewijk, Stephen Sitch, Raphael Ganzenmüller, Lei Ma, Lesley Ott, Julia Pongratz, and Benjamin Poulter

Model code and software

GLM2 Code (Global Land-use Model 2) for generating LUH2 datasets (Land-Use Harmonization 2) Louise Chini, George Hurtt, Ritvik Sahajpal, and Steve Frolking

Louise Chini et al.


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Short summary
Carbon emissions from land-use change are a large and uncertain component of the global carbon cycle. The Land-Use Harmonization 2 dataset was developed as an input to carbon-climate simulations and has been updated annually for the Global Carbon Budget (GCB) assessments. Here we discuss the methodology for producing these annual LUH2 updates, and describe the 2019 version which used new cropland and grazing land data inputs for the globally important region of Brazil.