Chuter-Aston-Skeldon-Roulstone paper on dynamical systems and data assimilation appears in Chaos

chuter-etal_figureThe paper “A dynamical systems analysis of the data assimilation linked ecosystem carbon (DALEC) models” has been accepted for publication in the journal Chaos, co-authored by the Surrey team consisting of Anna Chuter, Philip Aston, Anne Skeldon, and Ian Roulstone.  The paper considers the qualitative behaviour of one of the simplest carbon cycle models, the Data Assimilation Linked Ecosystem Carbon (DALEC) model, which is a simple vegetation model of processes involved in the carbon cycle of forests, and consider in detail the dynamical structure of the model. Our analysis shows that the dynamics of both evergreen and deciduous forests in DALEC are dependent on a few key parameters and it is possible to find a limit point where there is stable sustainable behaviour on one side but unsustainable conditions on the other side. The fact that typical parameter values reside close to this limit point highlights the difficulty of predicting even the correct trend without sufficient data and has implications for the use of data assimilation methods.  The published version of the article is available here.