Paul Miller. Photo.

Paul Miller

Senior lecturer

Paul Miller. Photo.

Dynamic Vegetation Simulations of the Mid-Holocene Green Sahara

Author

  • Lu Zhengyao
  • Paul Miller
  • Qiong Zhang
  • Qiang Zhang
  • David Wårlind
  • Lars Nieradzik
  • Jesper Sjolte
  • Benjamin Smith

Summary, in English

The “Green Sahara” is a period when North Africa was characterized by vegetation cover and wetlands. To qualitatively identify the orbital-climatic causation of the Green Sahara regime, we performed dynamic vegetation model (LPJ-GUESS) simulations, driven by climate forcings from coupled general circulation model (EC-Earth) simulations for the mid-Holocene, in which the vegetation is prescribed to be either modern desert or artificially vegetated with a reduced dust load. LPJ-GUESS simulates a vegetated Sahara covered by both herbaceous and woody vegetation types consistent with proxy reconstructions only in the latter scenario. Sensitivity experiments identify interactions required to capture the northward extension of vegetation. Increased precipitation is the main driver of the vegetation extent changes, and the temperature anomalies determine the plant functional types mainly through altered fire disturbance. Furthermore, the simulated vegetation composition also depends on the correct representation of soil texture in a humid environment like Green Sahara.

Department/s

  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • eSSENCE: The e-Science Collaboration
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)
  • BECC - Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • MERGE - ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
  • Quaternary Sciences

Publishing year

2018-08-20

Language

English

Pages

8294-8303

Publication/Series

Geophysical Research Letters

Volume

45

Issue

16

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Topic

  • Physical Geography

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1944-8007