The Arctic-Boreal vulnerability experiment model benchmarking system

Eric Stofferahn, Joshua B. Fisher, Daniel J. Hayes, Christopher R. Schwalm, Deborah N. Huntzinger, Wouter Hantson, Benjamin Poulter, Zhen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) integrates field and airborne data into modeling and synthesis activities for understanding Arctic and Boreal ecosystem dynamics. The ABoVE Benchmarking System (ABS) is an operational software package to evaluate terrestrial biosphere models against key indicators of Arctic and Boreal ecosystem dynamics, i.e.: carbon biogeochemistry, vegetation, permafrost, hydrology, and disturbance. The ABS utilizes satellite remote sensing data, airborne data, and field data from ABoVE as well as collaborating research networks in the region, e.g.: the Permafrost Carbon Network, the International Soil Carbon Network, the Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database, AmeriFlux sites, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, and the Soil Moisture Active Passive mission. The ABS is designed to be interactive for researchers interested in having their models accurately represent observations of key Arctic indicators: a user submits model results to the system, the system evaluates the model results against a set of Arctic-Boreal benchmarks outlined in the ABoVE Concise Experiment Plan, and the user then receives a quantitative scoring of model strengths and deficiencies through a web interface. This interactivity allows model developers to iteratively improve their model for the Arctic-Boreal Region by evaluating results from successive model versions. We show here, for illustration, the improvement of the Lund-Potsdam-Jena-Wald Schnee und Landschaft (LPJwsl) version model through the ABoVE ABS as a new permafrost module is coupled to the existing model framework. The ABS will continue to incorporate new benchmarks that address indicators of Arctic-Boreal ecosystem dynamics as they become available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055002
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • ABoVE
  • Arctic
  • Boreal
  • benchmarking
  • carbon
  • ecosystem
  • model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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