This year at AGU I was kept busy with chairing a session on Land-use change and giving a talk on biodiversity over the last 300 Ma.
I was the organising convenor for the land-use session, which was very successful, with two oral sessions and over 50 abstracts submitted. There was a who’s-who of LUC, with talks from Julia Pongratz, Dave Lawrence, George Hurtt, amongst others.
My talk was on Biodiversity of Terrestrial Vegetation during Past Warm Periods, showing some work I’ve been doing with a DGVM called JeDi which has enough vegetation types that inferences can be made about changes in biodiversity.
The defining aspect of the Jules meeting is the discussion: sometimes intense and often loud, there is a mix of mercy, generosity and harsh honesty that I feel is motivated by science and practicality rather than ego.
I was kept busy catching up with people as ever, explaining what I’m working on now including a poster with some initial results for the new Jules terrestrial Nitrogen component that will go into version 4.4 and ultimately UKESM1. At the request of the organisers, I also chaired the ‘Soil Processes’ session. A typically lively session there were great talks from Eleanor Burke, Sarah Chadburn, Graham Weedon and Anna Verhoef.
A particular highlight for me was Menard’s talk on Meteorological forcing, ancillary data and evaluation methods as sources of errors and uncertainty in land surface models. She found that incorrect switch choice in the namelists and different driving data were major (read huge) sources of errors in jules. In essence, Jules is a good model, if used correctly, but ‘used correctly’ is dependent on a lot of settings that are not always obvious. This provoked a very interesting but quite heated discussion.