16 Sep 2022
16 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A 29-year time series of annual 300-metre resolution plant functional type maps for climate models

Kandice L. Harper1, Celine Lamarche1, Andrew Hartley2, Philippe Peylin3, Catherine Ottlé3, Vladislav Bastrikov3, Rodrigo San Martín3, Sylvia I. Bohnenstengel4, Grit Kirches5, Martin Boettcher5, Roman Shevchuk5, Carsten Brockmann5, and Pierre Defourny1 Kandice L. Harper et al.
  • 1Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • 2Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, EX1 3PB, United Kingdom
  • 3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CEA-CNRS-Université Paris-Saclay, Orme des Merisiers, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 4Met Office, Reading, RG6 6BB, United Kingdom
  • 5Brockmann Consult GmbH, 21029 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. The existing medium-resolution land cover time series produced under the European Space Agency's Climate Change Initiative provides 29 years (1992–2020) of annual land cover maps at 300-m resolution, allowing for a detailed study of land change dynamics over the contemporary era. Because models need 2D parameters rather than 2D land cover information, the land cover classes must be converted into model-appropriate plant functional types (PFTs) to apply this time series to Earth system and land surface models. The first generation cross-walking table that was presented with the land cover product prescribed pixel-level PFT fractional compositions that varied by land cover class but lacked spatial variability. Here we describe a new ready-to-use data product for climate modelling: spatially explicit annual maps of PFT fractional composition at 300 m resolution for 1992–2020, created by fusing the 300 m medium-resolution land cover product with several existing high-resolution datasets using a globally consistent method. In the resulting data product, which has 14 layers for each of the 29 years, pixel values at 300-m resolution indicate the percentage cover (0–100 %) for each of 14 PFTs, with pixel-level PFT composition exhibiting significant intra-class spatial variability at the global scale. We additionally present an updated version of the user tool that allows users to modify the baseline product (e.g., re-mapping, re-projection, PFT conversion, and spatial sub-setting) to meet individual needs. Finally, these new PFT maps have been used in two land surface models - ORCHIDEE and JULES - to demonstrate their benefit over the conventional maps based on a generic cross-walking table. Regional changes in the fractions of trees, short vegetation, and bare soil cover induce changes in surface properties, such as the albedo, leading to significant changes in surface turbulent fluxes, temperature, and vegetation carbon stocks.

Kandice L. Harper et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-296', Anonymous Referee #1, 31 Oct 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-296', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Nov 2022

Kandice L. Harper et al.

Kandice L. Harper et al.


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Short summary
We built a spatially explicit annual PFT dataset for 1992–2020 exhibiting intraclass spatial variability in PFT fractional cover at 300 m. For each year, 14 maps of PFTs percentage cover are produced: bare soil, water, permanent snow/ice, built, managed grasses, natural grasses, and trees and shrubs each split into leaf type and seasonality. ORCHIDEE and JULES model simulations indicate significant differences in simulated carbon, water, and energy fluxes in some regions using this new PFT set.