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Improving E3SM Land Model Photosynthesis Parameterization via Satellite SIF, Machine Learning, and Surrogate Modeling

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Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
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1 to 1

The parameterization of key photosynthesis parameters is one of the key uncertain sources in modeling ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP). Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) offers a good proxy for GPP since it marks the actual process of photosynthesis; while machine learning (ML) provides a robust approach to model the GPP-SIF relationship. Here, we trained the boosted regressing tree (BRT) and the Random Forest ML models with Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite SIF data and in situ GPP observations from 49 eddy covariance towers. These trained ML GPP-SIF models were fed into the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) Land Model (ELM) to generate ELM-simulated global SIF estimates, which were then benchmarked against satellite SIF observations with a surrogate modeling approach. Our results indicated good modeling performance of the ML-based GPP-SIF relationship. The ELM model when fed with the ML GPP-SIF models also can well predict the spatial-temporal variations in SIF. We also found high model accuracy for the surrogate modeling. Model parameter sensitivity analysis suggested that the fraction of leaf nitrogen in RuBisCO (flnr) is the most sensitive parameter to the SIF; other sensitive parameters include the Ball-Berry stomatal conductance slope (mbbopt) and the vcmax entropy (vcmaxse). The posterior uncertainty in simulated GPP was greatly reduced after benchmarking, and the model produced improved spatial patterns of mean GPP relative to FLUXCOM GPP. Our integrated approach provides a new avenue for improving land models and using remote-sensing SIF, which can be further improved in the future with more ground- and satellite-based observations.