CESM2 Community Land Model

View the CTSM 2020 Fall Newsletter to learn about updates for CTSM users & developers


The Community Land Model is the land model for the Community Earth System Model (CESM).

It is a collaborative project between scientists in the Terrestrial Sciences Section (TSS) and the Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the CESM Land Model and Biogeochemistry Working Groups. Other principal working groups that contribute to the CLM are the Chemistry-Climate, Paleoclimate, Climate Change, and Land Ice Working Groups


CLM5.0 is the latest in a series of land models developed through the CESM project. More information on the CLM project and access to previous released CLM model versions and documentation can be found via the CLM Web Page. Note that CLM4.5 biogeophysics and biogeochemistry can be run from this release code. A new river model (MOSART) is also included.

The Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES) is available within the CLM5 release as a research option.



Previous Versions
  • CLM4.5 Technical Description [PDF]
  • What's new in CLM4.5 [HTML]
  • CLM4.0 Technical Description [PDF]
  • CLM4.0 Urban Model Technical Description [PDF]
  • What's new in CLM4.0 [HTML]



Model Design and Development

All future CLM development will occur within the framework of CTSM. CLM will be an instantiation of CTSM.

  • Development Guide
    CTSM development guidelines, workflow, and coding standards provided at CTSM github wiki page

Model output, diagnostic plots, and observations


Bibliography of papers utilizing and/or developing CLM - ALL * Last update: Nov/ 3/2020

Bibliography of papers utilizing and/or developing CLM - 2020 * Last update: Nov/ 3/2020


David M. Lawrence, Rosie A. Fisher, Charles D. Koven, Keith W. Oleson, Sean C. Swenson, Gordon Bonan, Nathan Collier, Bardan Ghimire, Leo van Kampenhout, Daniel Kennedy, Erik Kluzek, Peter J. Lawrence, Fang Li, Hongyi Li, Danica Lombardozzi, William J. Riley, William J. Sacks, Mingjie Shi, Mariana Vertenstein, William R. Wieder, Chonggang Xu, Ashehad A. Ali, Andrew M. Badger, Gautam Bisht, Michiel van den Broeke, Michael A. Brunke, Sean P. Burns, Jonathan Buzan, Martyn Clark, Anthony Craig, Kyla Dahlin, Beth Drewniak, Joshua B. Fisher, Mark Flanner, Andrew M. Fox, Pierre Gentine, Forrest Hoffman, Gretchen Keppel-Aleks, Ryan Knox, Sanjiv Kumar, Jan Lenaerts, L. Ruby Leung, William H. Lipscomb, Yaqiong Lu, Ashutosh Pandey, Jon D. Pelletier, Justin Perket, James T. Randerson, Daniel M. Ricciuto, Benjamin M. Sanderson, Andrew Slater, Zachary M. Subin, Jinyun Tang, R. Quinn Thomas, Maria Val Martin, Xubin Zeng, 2019: The Community Land Model version 5: Description of new features, benchmarking, and impact of forcing uncertainty. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 11, 4245-4287. https://doi-org.cuucar.idm.oclc.org/10.1029/2018MS001583.


Oleson, K.W., D.M. Lawrence, G.B. Bonan, B. Drewniak, M. Huang, C.D. Koven, S. Levis, F. Li, W.J. Riley, Z.M. Subin, S.C. Swenson, P.E. Thornton, A. Bozbiyik, R. Fisher, E. Kluzek, J.-F. Lamarque, P.J. Lawrence, L.R. Leung, W. Lipscomb, S. Muszala, D.M. Ricciuto, W. Sacks, Y. Sun, J. Tang, Z.-L. Yang, 2013: Technical Description of version 4.5 of the Community Land Model (CLM). Ncar Technical Note NCAR/TN-503+STR, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, 422 pp


Lawrence, D.M., K.W. Oleson, M.G. Flanner, P.E. Thornton, S.C. Swenson, P.J. Lawrence, X. Zeng, Z.-L. Yang, S. Levis, K. Sakaguchi, G.B. Bonan, and A.G. Slater, 2011: Parameterization improvements and functional and structural advances in version 4 of the Community Land Model. J. Adv. Model. Earth Sys., 3, Doi: 10.1029/2011MS000045

Oleson, K.W., D.M. Lawrence, G.B. Bonan, M.G. Flanner, E. Kluzek, P.J. Lawrence, S. Levis, S.C. Swenson, P.E. Thornton, A. Dai, M. Decker, R. Dickinson, J. Feddema, C.L. Heald, F. Hoffman, J.-F. Lamarque, N. Mahowald, G.-Y. Niu, T. Qian, J. Randerson, S. Running, K. Sakaguchi, A. Slater, R. Stockli, A. Wang, Z.-L. Yang, Xi. Zeng, and Xu. Zeng, 2010: Technical Description of version 4.0 of the Community Land Model (CLM). NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN-478+STR, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, 257 pp


Piao et. al. 2012: The carbon budget of terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia over the last two decades. Biogeosciences, 9, 3571-3586, Doi: 10.5194/bg-9-3571-2012. (CRUNCEP forcing)