Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1017/eds.2024.2
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Identifying compound weather drivers of forest biomass loss with generative deep learning
Author Anand, M.; Bohn, F.J.; Camps-Valls, G.; Fischer, R. ORCID logo ; Huth, A.; Sweet, L.-B. ORCID logo ; Zscheischler, J. ORCID logo
Source Titel Environmental Data Science
Year 2024
Department OESA; CHS; CER
Volume 3
Page From e4
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords compound events; extreme events; forest mortality; generative deep learning; variational autoencoder
Abstract Globally, forests are net carbon sinks that partly mitigates anthropogenic climate change. However, there is evidence of increasing weather-induced tree mortality, which needs to be better understood to improve forest management under future climate conditions. Disentangling drivers of tree mortality is challenging because of their interacting behavior over multiple temporal scales. In this study, we take a data-driven approach to the problem. We generate hourly temperate weather data using a stochastic weather generator to simulate 160,000 years of beech, pine, and spruce forest dynamics with a forest gap model. These data are used to train a generative deep learning model (a modified variational autoencoder) to learn representations of three-year-long monthly weather conditions (precipitation, temperature, and solar radiation) in an unsupervised way. We then associate these weather representations with years of high biomass loss in the forests and derive weather prototypes associated with such years. The identified prototype weather conditions are associated with 5–22% higher median biomass loss compared to the median of all samples, depending on the forest type and the prototype. When prototype weather conditions co-occur, these numbers increase to 10–25%. Our research illustrates how generative deep learning can discover compounding weather patterns associated with extreme impacts.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Anand, M., Bohn, F.J., Camps-Valls, G., Fischer, R., Huth, A., Sweet, L.-B., Zscheischler, J. (2024):
Identifying compound weather drivers of forest biomass loss with generative deep learning
Environ. Data Sci. 3 , e4 10.1017/eds.2024.2