TSS People

Peter Lawrence, Project Scientist I

Short Bio

I am a Project Scientist in the Climate & Global Dynamics Division at NCAR. The main focus of my research is investigating how the biosphere, land surface hydrology, and human modified landscapes interact with the climate system, to impact regional and global climate. My research goals are to further develop our understanding of the dynamics of the climate system so that we can more successfully predict and manage for the impacts of climate change and climate variability on human populations, and the agricultural and natural systems that support them.

The main aims of my work are to investigate the role of the global land surface plays in the climate system and to assess the impacts that human modification of the land surface may have on regional and global climate. My research into the land surface, land cover change, and the climate, can be partitioned into:

  1. Globally describing the current day land surface from NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite imagery, and reconstructing historical land cover from modeled potential vegetation, and historical records of cropping and urbanization;
  2. Incorporating the satellite and historical land surface data into the Community Land Model (CLM 3.0) of the NCAR Community Climate System Model (CCSM 3.0);
  3. Modifying the hydrology of the CLM 3.0 model to reproduce evapo-transpiration fluxes in the model that are consistent with those observed in the real world and in other land surface models, to enable meaningful land surface change experiments; and
  4. Performing global climate sensitivity experiments with the CCSM with altered land surface representations to assess the influence of the land cover change on global and regional climate relative to and in combination with the climate impacts of El Nino Southern Oscillation sea surface temperature anomalies.

The new current day CLM 3.0 land surface parameters are consistent with a range of MODIS land surface products at a grid cell resolution of 0.05 degrees. These land surface parameters are the new standard current day land surface provided by NCAR for use with CLM 3.5 and can be used for a wide range of applications from global to regional land surface modelling. These land surface parameters and the impact they have on global climate simulated in CCSM 3.0 are described in Lawrence and Chase, (2007a) and in the CLM 3.5 supporting documentation Oleson et al., (2007).

I have developed global potential vegetation parameters for use in land cover change experiments which are consistent with the MODIS current day land surface parameters for plant functional types, vegetation cover and leaf area phenology, with the climate impacts of the potential vegetation described in Lawrence and Chase, (2007b). The potential vegetation parameters also can be used with historical cropping records to generate a continuous series of global land cover change parameters running from 1700 to current day as described in Feddema et al., (2007). These parameters are being used by a wide range of research groups for global land cover change studies. I am currently working with Johannes Feddema to develop a new range of historical and future land cover change scenarios for use in future International Panel on Climate Change modelling investigations.

In my role as climate scientist with the NCAR CCSM, I am an active member of the CCSM Land Working Group, the Biogeochemistry Working Group, and the Chemistry Climate Working Group. I also attend fortnightly meetings with the NCAR Terrestrial Science Section to help direct the development of CLM and to coordinate land surface science with CCSM.

Recent Publications

Lawrence, PJ; Chase, TN, 2007: Representing a new MODIS consistent land surface in the Community Land Model (CLM 3.0). J. Geophys. Res.-Biogeosci.: Vol. 112

Lawrence, P.J., and T. N. Chase, 2006: Climate Impacts of making the hydrology of the Community Land Model (CLM 3.0) consistent with the Simple Biosphere Model (SiB). (In Review) Journal or Geophysical Research

Lawrence, P.J., and T.N. Chase, 2006: Climate Impacts of Potential Vegetation versus Current Day MODIS Land Cover in the Community Climate System Model. (In Preparation) Journal of Geophysical Research

Lawrence, P.J., C.A. McAlpine, J. Syktus, H.A. McGowan, S.R. Phinn, and S.J. Crimp, 2006: Modelling the impact of historical Australian land cover change on Australian climate. (In Review) International Journal of Climatology

Oleson, K.W., G.-Y. Niu, Z.L. Yang, D.M. Lawrence, P.E. Thornton, P.J. Lawrence, R. Stockli, R.E. Dickinson, G.B. Bonan, and S. Levis, Technical Description of the Community Land Model (CLM 3.5), NCAR, Boulder, Colorado, 2007.

Leavitt, S.W., T.N. Chase, R. Balaji, E. Lee, and P.J. Lawrence, 2007: Southwestern U.S. Drought Maps From Pinyon Tree-Ring Carbon Isotopes. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union: Vol. 88 (4), 39-40

Levis, S., G.B. Bonan, and P.J. Lawrence, The simulation of present-day snow albedo as a predictor of simulated climate sensitivity, (Accepted) Geophysical Research Letters, 2007

Feddema, J.J., P.J. Lawrence, J. Bauer, and T. Jackson, 2006: A global land cover dataset for use in transient climate simulations. (In Review) Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climate

Pfister, G.G., L.K. Emmons, P.G. Hess, J.-F. Lamarque, J.J. Orlando, S. Walters, A. Guenther, P.I. Palmer, and P.J. Lawrence, Contribution of isoprene to chemical budgets: A model tracer study with the NCAR CTM MOZART-4, (In Review) Journal of Climate, 2007.

Lawrence, P.J., and T.N. Chase, 2006: Climate Impacts. Our earth's changing land: an encyclopedia of land-use and land-cover change, H. Geist, Greenwood Press, Westport, 115-124

Lawrence, P.J., Climate Impacts of Austrailan Land Cover Change, Ph.D thesis, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 2004

CGD People






Peter Lawrence, Project Scientist I