Home | People | Research | Projects | School of Geographical Sciences

Spy glass

Pan-Arctic INitiative (PAIN)

Publications from the first phase of PAIN
Use of PAIN Data for Model Evaluation
PAIN II

Members of the Pan-Arctic INitiative

The Pan-Arctic INitiative is an international consortium of ecologists, palaeoecologists, palaeoclimatologists, biogeochemists and earth system modellers. The consortium was set up in April 1988 to address questions about the role of terrestrial vegetation in modulating Arctic climate changes through both biophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks.

In the first phase of PAIN (1998-2003), the focus was on producing an equilibrium vegetation model that was capable of representing the diversity of high-arctic (tundra) vegetation, and suitable for investigating the impact of past and future climate changes on vegetation distribution and carbon storage. The new model (BIOME4: Kaplan et al., 2003) is an equilibrium biogeography-biogeochemistry from the BIOME model family (Prentice et al., 1992, J Biogeography 19: 117-134) and requires mean monthly climate data (temperature, precipitation, cloudiness) and soils data as input.

In order to produce the new model, it was necessary to:

  • Improve the existing gridded modern climate data set of Cramer and Leeman (1991) in order to produce a good simulation of the modern vegetation. The new data set, known as CLIMATE 2.2, is available from the PIK website
  • Produce a map of modern vegetations patterns using a classification scheme that was compatible with the scheme used by the model. The maps of regional vegetation patterns available in 1998 for different parts of the high northern latitudes used very different classification schemes. Our map, has the advantage of providing a single source for the pan-Arctic region and compatibility with BIOME4 output. (Add picture of map; add pdf of map; added gridded data set)

To download this map click here

To download the gridded data used to generate the map. (Add link to dataset)

If you wish to use this figure or the underlying data, please cite Kaplan et al., 2003 (see below for full citation)

The robustness of the vegetation model when forced to simulate different environments because of radically different climate conditions was tested by running palaeoclimate simulations, driven by a variety of climate model simulations for the mid-Holocene (6000 years ago, 6ka) and the last glacial maximum (LGM, ca 21,000 years ago, 21ka). The climate model output was derived from the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project. Although the BIOME 6000 project had developed vegetation reconstructions for these two time periods, the vegetation reconstructions for the high northern latitudes used a very simple classification scheme. PAIN used an improved methodology, based on a new global classification of plant functional types (Harrison et al., unpublished work) and a vegetation classification scheme directly compatible with the scheme in the BIOME4 model. PAIN has produced maps of vegetation patterns for 6ka and 21ka (see below) using these new schemes, and with an vastly expanded data set compared to previous efforts.

top

To download this map (pdf) click here

To download the data click here

If you wish to use either of these figures or the underlying data, please cite et al., 2003 (see below for full citation)

top

Publications from the first phase of PAIN:
Bigelow, N.H., Brubaker, L.B., Edwards, M.E., Harrison, S.P., Prentice, I.C., Anderson, P.M., Andreev, A.A., Bartlein, P.J., Christensen, T.R., Cramer, W., Kaplan, J.O., Lozhkin, A.V., Matveyeva, N.V., Murray, D.F., McGuire, A.D., Razzhivin, V.Y., Ritchie, J.C., Smith, B., Walker, D.A., Gayewski, K., Wolf, V., Holmqvist, B.H., Igarashi, Y., Kremenetskii, K., Paus, A., Pisaric, M.F.J. and Volkova, V.S. (2003). Climatic change and Arctic ecosystems I. Vegetation changes north of 55° N between the last glacial maximum, mid-Holocene, and present. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmosphere, 108(D19), 8170. (DOI).

Kaplan, J.O., Bigelow, N.H., Bartlein, P.J., Christensen, T.R., Cramer, W., Harrison, S.P., Matveyeva, N.V., McGuire, A.D., Murray, D.F., Prentice, I.C., Razzhivin, V.Y., Smith, B. and Walker, D.A., Anderson, P.M., Andreev, A.A., Brubaker, L.B., Edwards, M.E., Lozhkin, A.V. and Ritchie, J. (2003). Climate change and Arctic ecosystems II: Modeling, palaeodata-model comparisons, and future projections. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmosphere, 108(D19), 8171. (DOI).

top

Use of PAIN Data for Model Evaluation
The PAIN palaeovegetation reconstructions have already been used to evaluate climate model simulations of the mid-Holocene in:

Wohlfahrt, J., Harrison, S.P. and Braconnot, P. (2004). Synergistic feedbacks between ocean and vegetation on mid- and high-latitude climates during the mid-Holocene. Climate Dynamics, 22, 223-238. (DOI).

top

PAIN II

We are now launching the second phase of the PAIN project. PAIN2 (April 2004-2009) will tackle several inter-related topics, including:

Focus 1: Northern wetlands and the methane cycle
For more information contact:

Focus 2: Changing vegetation patterns from the last glacial maximum to the present in the high northern latitudes.
For more information contact:
Mary Edwards - m.e.edwards@soton.ac.uk

or Sandy P. Harrison - sandy.harrison@bristol.ac.uk

Focus 3: Estimates of changes in northern carbon sinks during the last glacial-interglacial cycle and into the future.
For more information contact:
Colin Prentice - colin.prentice@bristol.ac.uk

top

Members of the Pan-Arctic INitiative (as of April 2004)
Pat Anderson, Quaternary Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
Pat Bartlein, Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA
Nancy Bigelow
Linda Brubaker, College of Forest Resources AR-10, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
Torben Christensen
Wolfgang Cramer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany
Mary Edwards, Department of Geography, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
Sandy P. Harrison, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK
Konrad Gajewski, Laboratory for Paleoclimatology and Climatology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5
Jed Kaplan
Anatoly Lozhkin, Russian Academy of Sciences, Far East Branch, N.E. Interdisciplinary Research Institute, Magadan, Russia
Nadja Matveyeva, Komarov Botanical Institute, Department of Vegetation of the Far North, St. Petersburg, Russia
Dave McGuire, Department of Biology and Wildlife, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA
Dave Murray, University of Alaska Museum, Fairbanks, USA
Colin Prentice, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Volodya Razzhivin, Department of Vegetation of the Far North,Komarov Botanical Institute, St Petersburg, Russia
Jim Ritchie, Pebbledash Cottage, Somerset, UK
Stephen Sitch
Ben Smith
Kirsten Thonike, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
Skip Walker, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Jack Williams, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Kathy Willis, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford

top