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Feasibility of formulating ecosystem biogeochemical models from established physical rules
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  • Jinyun Tang,
  • William J. Riley,
  • Stefano Manzoni,
  • Federico Maggi
Jinyun Tang
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (DOE)

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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William J. Riley
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (DOE)
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Stefano Manzoni
Stockholm University
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Federico Maggi
University of Sydney
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To improve the predictive capability of ecosystem biogeochemical models (EBMs), we discuss the feasibility of formulating biogeochemical processes using physical rules that have underpinned the many successes in computational physics and chemistry. We argue that the currently popular empirically based modeling approaches, such as multiplicative empirical response functions and the law of the minimum, will not lead to EBM formulations that can be continuously refined to incorporate improved mechanistic understanding and empirical observations of biogeochemical processes. As an alternative to these empirical models, we propose to formulate EBMs using established physical rules widely used in computational physics and chemistry. Through several examples, we demonstrate how mathematical representations derived from physical rules can improve understanding of relevant biogeochemical processes and enable more effective communication between modelers, observationalists, and experimentalists regarding essential questions, such as what measurements are needed to meaningfully inform models and how can models generate new process-level hypotheses to test in empirical studies?
21 Sep 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
02 Oct 2023Published in ESS Open Archive