Peter Lawrence
Project Scientist I


I am a Project Scientist in the Terrestrial Sciences Section within the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory at NCAR. My research investigates how human and natural systems respond to the world's changing climate, and how human activities in turn impact back on the climate system. Since joining NCAR, I have become one of the agency's leading scientists on land use and land cover change, representing the agency in many international projects. The main focus of this research has been working on the World Meteorology Organization's (WMO) Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIP) which inform the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports.

The most recent role I have played for NCAR has been as a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Land Use Modeling Intercomparison Project ( LUMIP ) of CMIP6 . In this role I have been actively involved in the experimental design of the land use components of CMIP6, as well as producing all of the land use and land cover change time series for NCAR's Community Earth System Model ( CLM5 and CESM2 ) version 2.0, with code contributions available in my GitHub account . Additional projects I have represented NCAR in have included: the Agricultural Model Intercomparison Project ( AgMIP ); the European Union Land-Use Change project ( LUC4C ); the Land Use Change and Identification project ( LUCID ); the Climate Change Impacts and Integrated Assessment workshops as part of the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum; and with the Integrated Assessement Modeling Consortium, developing future human Shared Socio-economic Projections ( SSPs ) for climate modeling investigations for the CMIP5 and CMIP6 projects.

The most significant product that I have completed during my time at NCAR is the annual land use and land cover change scenarios for the CESM climate simulations for both the CMIP5 and CMIP6 projects covering the period from 850 to 2100c.e (see Lawrence et al. 2012 and Lawrence et al. 2018 ). These time series are used in every CESM simulation going back to CCSM4. The cropping component of the CMIP6 CESM land use and land cover time series has been developed from LUMIP crop fractions, irrigation areas and annual crop specific nitrogen fertilizer combined with crop area and irrigation fraction from high resolution EARTHSTAT , MIRCA 2000 and UN FAOSTAT data. The remaining natural, pasture and rangeland vegetation descriptions have been developed using high resolution MODIS , AVHRR , CRU and ICESAT data products combined with historical and future projections of land cover.

I have been an active member of the CESM Land Model, Biogeochemistry, and Societal Dimensions Working Groups for the last 14 years. For the three years 2014 - 2017 I was the acting Liaison Officer for the Societal Dimension Working Group. For the year 2017 - 2018, I was the seminar coordinator for the Climate and Global Dynamics (CGD) division running a weekly series of invited seminars from NCAR and international guests. I have been an active committee member to two PhD students and host to many PhD and Post-Doctoral visitors at NCAR. I also have been the Land Use and Land Model lecturer for the CESM and CLM tutorials for the last five years. My work has been written up and published through numerous journal articles, and delivered through invited presentations at conferences, meetings and at NCAR, as shown in my peer reviewed papers below and on Google Scholar . More details can be found in my Resume


Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Geography Thesis: Climate Impacts of Australian Land Cover Change. Awarded October 2004
The University of Queensland

Bachelor of Science (Honours in Computer Science) Thesis: C-Linda and the AP1000. Awarded April 1993
The Australian National University


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PJ Lawrence, DM Lawrence, GC Hurtt (2018), Attributing the Carbon Cycle Impacts of CMIP5 Historical and Future Land Use and Land Cover Change in the Community Earth System Model (CESM1). Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 123 (5), 1732-1755

S Asefi-Najafabady, KL Vandecar, A Seimon, P Lawrence, D Lawrence (2018), Climate change, population, and poverty: vulnerability and exposure to heat stress in countries bordering the Great Lakes of Africa. Climatic Change, 1-13

BC O'Neill, JM Done, A Gettelman, P Lawrence, F Lehner, JF Lamarque, ... (2018), The benefits of reduced anthropogenic climate change (BRACE): a synthesis. Climatic Change 146 (3-4), 287-301

JT Bacmeister, KA Reed, C Hannay, P Lawrence, S Bates, JE Truesdale, ... (2018), Projected changes in tropical cyclone activity under future warming scenarios using a high-resolution climate model. Climatic Change 146 (3-4), 547-560

X Ren, M Weitzel, BC O'Neill, P Lawrence, P Meiyappan, S Levis, ... (2018), Avoided economic impacts of climate change on agriculture: integrating a land surface model (CLM) with a global economic model (iPETS). Climatic Change 146 (3-4), 517-531


V Porwollik, C Muller, J Elliott, J Chryssanthacopoulos, T Iizumi, ... PJ Lawrence ... (2017), Spatial and temporal uncertainty of crop yield aggregations. European Journal of Agronomy 88, 10-21

NM Schultz, PJ Lawrence, X Lee (2017), Global satellite data highlights the diurnal asymmetry of the surface temperature response to deforestation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 122 (4), 903-917

C Muller, J Elliott, J Chryssanthacopoulos, A Arneth, J Balkovic, ... PJ Lawrence ... (2017), Global gridded crop model evaluation: benchmarking, skills, deficiencies and implications. Geoscientific Model Development Discussions 10, 1403-1422

NM Mahowald, JT Randerson, K Lindsay, E Munoz, SC Doney, P Lawrence, ... (2017), Interactions between land use change and carbon cycle feedbacks. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 31 (1), 96-113


DM Lawrence, GC Hurtt, A Arneth, V Brovkin, KV Calvin, ... PJ Lawrence ... (2016), The Land Use Model Intercomparison Project (LUMIP) contribution to CMIP6: rationale and experimental design. Geoscientific Model Development 9, 2973-2998

NM Schultz, X Lee, PJ Lawrence, DM Lawrence, L Zhao (2016), Assessing the use of subgrid land model output to study impacts of land cover change. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 121 (11), 6133-6147

MB Sylla, JS Pal, GL Wang, PJ Lawrence (2016), Impact of land cover characterization on regional climate modeling over West Africa. Climate dynamics 46 (1-2), 637-650


KM Dahlin, RA Fisher, PJ Lawrence (2015), Environmental drivers of drought deciduous phenology in the Community Land Model. Biogeosciences 12 (16), 5061-5074

RA Fisher, S Muszala, M Verteinstein, P Lawrence, C Xu, NG McDowell, ... (2015), Taking off the training wheels: the properties of a dynamic vegetation model without climate envelopes, CLM4. 5 (ED). Geoscientific Model Development 8 (11), 3593-3619


Q Zhang, AJ Pitman, YP Wang, YJ Dai, PJ Lawrence (2013), The impact of nitrogen and phosphorous limitation on the estimated terrestrial carbon balance and warming of land use change over the last 156 yr. Earth System Dynamics 4 (2), 333-345

NA Rosenbloom, BL Otto-Bliesner, EC Brady, PJ Lawrence (2013), Simulating the mid-Pliocene Warm Period with the CCSM4 model. Geoscientific Model Development 6 (2), 549-561

L Landrum, BL Otto-Bliesner, ER Wahl, A Conley, PJ Lawrence, ... (2013), Last millennium climate and its variability in CCSM4. Journal of climate 26 (4), 1085-1111


PJ Lawrence, JJ Feddema, GB Bonan, GA Meehl, BC O'Neill, KW Oleson, ... (2012), Simulating the biogeochemical and biogeophysical impacts of transient land cover change and wood harvest in the Community Climate System Model (CCSM4) from 1850 to 2100. Journal of Climate 25 (9), 3071-3095

N de Noblet-Ducoudre, JP Boisier, A Pitman, GB Bonan, V Brovkin, ... PJ Lawrence ... (2012), Determining Robust Impacts of Land-Use-Induced Land Cover Changes on Surface Climate over North America and Eurasia: Results from the First Set of LUCID Experiments. Journal of Climate 25 (9), 3261-3281

DM Lawrence, KW Oleson, MG Flanner, CG Fletcher, PJ Lawrence, ... (2012), The CCSM4 land simulation, 1850?2005: Assessment of surface climate and new capabilities. Journal of Climate 25 (7), 2240-2260

S Kloster, NM Mahowald, JT Randerson, PJ Lawrence (2012), The impacts of climate, land use, and demography on fires during the 21st century simulated by CLM-CN. Biogeosciences 9 (1), 509-525


JE Lee, BR Lintner, CK Boyce, PJ Lawrence (2011), Land use change exacerbates tropical South American drought by sea surface temperature variability. Geophysical Research Letters 38 (19), L19706

GB Bonan, PJ Lawrence, KW Oleson, S Levis, M Jung, M Reichstein, ... (2011), Improving canopy processes in the Community Land Model version 4 (CLM4) using global flux fields empirically inferred from FLUXNET data. Journal of Geophysical Research 116 (G2), G02014

DM Lawrence, KW Oleson, MG Flanner, PE Thornton, SC Swenson, ... (2011), Parameterization improvements and functional and structural advances in version 4 of the Community Land Model. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst 3 (1)


VG Anantharaj, US Nair, P Lawrence, TN Chase, S Christopher, T Jones (2010), Comparison of satellite?derived TOA shortwave clear sky fluxes to estimates from GCM simulations constrained by satellite observations of land surface characteristics. International Journal of Climatology 30 (13), 2088-2104

PJ Lawrence, TN Chase (2010), Investigating the climate impacts of global land cover change in the community climate system model. International Journal of Climatology 30 (13), 2066-2087

KW Oleson, DM Lawrence, B Gordon, MG Flanner, E Kluzek, PJ Lawrence, ... (2010), Technical description of version 4.0 of the Community Land Model (CLM)

S Kloster, NM Mahowald, JT Randerson, PE Thornton, ... PJ Lawrence ... (2010), Fire dynamics during the 20th century simulated by the Community Land Model. Biogeosciences 7 (6), 1877-1902

R Mahmood, RA Pielke Sr, KG Hubbard, D Niyogi, G Bonan, P Lawrence, ... (2010), Impacts of land use/land cover change on climate and future research priorities. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 91 (1), 37-46


AJ Pitman, N de Noblet-Ducoudre, FT Cruz, EL Davin, ... PJ Lawrence ... (2009), Uncertainties in climate responses to past land cover change: First results from the LUCID intercomparison study. Geophysical Research Letters 36 (14), L14814

RC Deo, JI Syktus, CA McAlpine, PJ Lawrence, HA McGowan, SR Phinn (2009), Impact of historical land cover change on daily indices of climate extremes including droughts in eastern Australia. Geophysical Research Letters 36 (8), L08705

PJ Lawrence, TN Chase (2009), Climate impacts of making evapotranspiration in the Community Land Model (CLM3) consistent with the Simple Biosphere Model (SiB). Journal of Hydrometeorology 10 (2), 374-394

E Lee, TN Chase, B Rajagopalan, RG Barry, TW Biggs, PJ Lawrence (2009), Effects of irrigation and vegetation activity on early Indian summer monsoon variability. International Journal of Climatology 29 (4), 573-581

CA McAlpine, JI Syktus, RC Deo, PJ Lawrence, HA McGowan, ... (2009), Modelling impacts of vegetation cover change on regional climate. Land and Water Australia

AJ Pitman, N de Noblet-Ducoudre, FT Cruz, EL Davin, ... PJ Lawrence ... (2009), Land use and climate via the LUCID intercomparison study: implications for experimental design in AR5. Geophys Res Lett 36, L14814


E Lee, TN Chase, PJ Lawrence, B Rajagopalan (2008), Model assessment of the observed relationship between El Nino and the northern East Asian summer monsoon using the Community Climate System Model Community Atmosphere Model?Community Land Model version 3 (CAM?CLM3). Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 113 (D20)

SW Leavitt, TN Chase, B Rajagopalan, E Lee, PJ Lawrence (2008), Southwestern US tree-ring carbon isotope indices as a possible proxy for reconstruction of greenness of vegetation. Geophysical Research Letters 35 (12), L12704

KW Oleson, GY Niu, ZL Yang, DM Lawrence, PE Thornton, PJ Lawrence, ... (2008), Improvements to the Community Land Model and their impact on the hydrological cycle. J. Geophys. Res 113, G01021

GG Pfister, LK Emmons, PG Hess, JF Lamarque, JJ Orlando, ... PJ Lawrence (2008), Contribution of isoprene to chemical budgets: A model tracer study with the NCAR CTM MOZART-4. Journal of Geophysical Research 113 (D5), D05308


CA McAlpine, J Syktus, RC Deo, PJ Lawrence, HA McGowan, ... (2007), Modeling the impact of historical land cover change on Australia's regional climate. Geophysical Research Letters 34 (22), L22711

S Levis, GB Bonan, PJ Lawrence (2007), Present day springtime high latitude surface albedo as a predictor of simulated climate sensitivity. Geophysical Research Letters 34 (17)

KW Oleson, GY Niu, ZL Yang, DM Lawrence, PE Thornton, PJ Lawrence, ... (2007), CLM3. 5 documentation. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, 34pp

PJ Lawrence, TN Chase (2007), Representing a new MODIS consistent land surface in the Community Land Model (CLM 3.0). Journal of geophysical research 112 (G1), G01023

SW Leavitt, TN Chase, B Rajagopalan, E Lee, PJ Lawrence, ... (2007), Southwestern US drought maps from pinyon tree-ring carbon isotopes. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 88 (4), 39


P Lawrence (2004), Climate impacts of Australian land cover change. PhD Thesis, Department of Geography, University of Queensland