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Sensitivity of Latent Heat Flux from PILPS Land-Surface Schemes to Perturbations of Surface Air Temperature

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  • 1 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
  • | 2 School of Earth Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
  • | 3 Australian Oceanographic Data Centre, Sydney, Australia
  • | 4 Science Systems and Applications Inc., New York, New York
  • | 5 Mesoscale Dynamics and Precipitation Branch, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | 6 Phillips Laboratory (PL/GPAB), Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts
  • | 7 Development Division, National Centers for Environmental Prediction/NOAA, Camp Springs, Maryland
  • | 8 Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Academy of Science, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
  • | 9 Institute of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • | 10 Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany
  • | 11 Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, the Netherlands
  • | 12 Meteorology Department, Reading University, Reading, United Kingdom
  • | 13 Institute of Water Problems, Moscow, Russia
  • | 14 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California
  • | 15 Hydrological Sciences Branch, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | 16 Division of Atmospheric Research, CSIRO, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia
  • | 17 Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Meteorological Office, Berkshire, United Kingdom
  • | 18 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • | 19 Department of Civil Engineering and Operations Research, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
  • | 20 ECMWF, Reading, United Kingdom
  • | 21 Department of Physics, GKSS—Research Center, Geesthacht, Germany
  • | 22 Development Division, National Centers for Environmental Prediction/NOAA, Camp Springs, Maryland
  • | 23 Institute of Water Problems, Moscow, Russia
  • | 24 Météo-France/CNRM, Toulouse, France
  • | 25 Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
  • | 26 Science Systems and Applications Inc., New York, New York
  • | 27 Office of Hydrology, NWS/NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • | 28 Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
  • | 29 Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany
  • | 30 Institute of Geography, Moscow, Russia
  • | 31 Climate Research Branch, Atmospheric Environment Service, Downsview, Ontario, Canada
  • | 32 Mesoscale Dynamics and Precipitation Branch, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | 33 Department of Civil Engineering and Operations Research, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
  • | 34 Institute of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • | 35 Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Academy of Science, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
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Abstract

In the PILPS Phase 2a experiment, 23 land-surface schemes were compared in an off-line control experiment using observed meteorological data from Cabauw, the Netherlands. Two simple sensitivity experiments were also undertaken in which the observed surface air temperature was artificially increased or decreased by 2 K while all other factors remained as observed. On the annual timescale, all schemes show similar responses to these perturbations in latent, sensible heat flux, and other key variables. For the 2-K increase in temperature, surface temperatures and latent heat fluxes all increase while net radiation, sensible heat fluxes, and soil moistures all decrease. The results are reversed for a 2-K temperature decrease. The changes in sensible heat fluxes and, especially, the changes in the latent heat fluxes are not linearly related to the change of temperature. Theoretically, the nonlinear relationship between air temperature and the latent heat flux is evident and due to the convex relationship between air temperature and saturation vapor pressure. A simple test shows that, the effect of the change of air temperature on the atmospheric stratification aside, this nonlinear relationship is shown in the form that the increase of the latent heat flux for a 2-K temperature increase is larger than its decrease for a 2-K temperature decrease. However, the results from the Cabauw sensitivity experiments show that the increase of the latent heat flux in the +2-K experiment is smaller than the decrease of the latent heat flux in the −2-K experiment (we refer to this as the asymmetry). The analysis in this paper shows that this inconsistency between the theoretical relationship and the Cabauw sensitivity experiments results (or the asymmetry) is due to (i) the involvement of the βg formulation, which is a function of a series stress factors that limited the evaporation and whose values change in the ±2-K experiments, leading to strong modifications of the latent heat flux; (ii) the change of the drag coefficient induced by the changes in stratification due to the imposed air temperature changes (±2 K) in parameterizations of latent heat flux common in current land-surface schemes. Among all stress factors involved in the βg formulation, the soil moisture stress in the +2-K experiment induced by the increased evaporation is the main factor that contributes to the asymmetry.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Weiqing Qu, Department of Mathematics, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia.

Email: rmawq@gauss.ma.rmit.edu.au

Abstract

In the PILPS Phase 2a experiment, 23 land-surface schemes were compared in an off-line control experiment using observed meteorological data from Cabauw, the Netherlands. Two simple sensitivity experiments were also undertaken in which the observed surface air temperature was artificially increased or decreased by 2 K while all other factors remained as observed. On the annual timescale, all schemes show similar responses to these perturbations in latent, sensible heat flux, and other key variables. For the 2-K increase in temperature, surface temperatures and latent heat fluxes all increase while net radiation, sensible heat fluxes, and soil moistures all decrease. The results are reversed for a 2-K temperature decrease. The changes in sensible heat fluxes and, especially, the changes in the latent heat fluxes are not linearly related to the change of temperature. Theoretically, the nonlinear relationship between air temperature and the latent heat flux is evident and due to the convex relationship between air temperature and saturation vapor pressure. A simple test shows that, the effect of the change of air temperature on the atmospheric stratification aside, this nonlinear relationship is shown in the form that the increase of the latent heat flux for a 2-K temperature increase is larger than its decrease for a 2-K temperature decrease. However, the results from the Cabauw sensitivity experiments show that the increase of the latent heat flux in the +2-K experiment is smaller than the decrease of the latent heat flux in the −2-K experiment (we refer to this as the asymmetry). The analysis in this paper shows that this inconsistency between the theoretical relationship and the Cabauw sensitivity experiments results (or the asymmetry) is due to (i) the involvement of the βg formulation, which is a function of a series stress factors that limited the evaporation and whose values change in the ±2-K experiments, leading to strong modifications of the latent heat flux; (ii) the change of the drag coefficient induced by the changes in stratification due to the imposed air temperature changes (±2 K) in parameterizations of latent heat flux common in current land-surface schemes. Among all stress factors involved in the βg formulation, the soil moisture stress in the +2-K experiment induced by the increased evaporation is the main factor that contributes to the asymmetry.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Weiqing Qu, Department of Mathematics, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia.

Email: rmawq@gauss.ma.rmit.edu.au

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