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Cabauw Experimental Results from the Project for Intercomparison of Land-Surface Parameterization Schemes

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  • a Climatic Impacts Centre, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  • | b U.S. Geological Survey and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/NOAA, Princeton, New Jersey.
  • | c Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, the Netherlands.
  • | d Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique du CNRS, Paris, France.
  • | e Science Systems and Applications Incorporated, New York City, New York.
  • | f Mesoscale Dynamics and Precipitation Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.
  • | g Phillips Laboratory (PL/GPAB), Hanscome AFB, Massachusetts.
  • | h Development Division, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, NOAA, Camp Springs, Maryland.
  • | i Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Academy of Science, Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
  • | j Institute of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
  • | k Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany.
  • | l Division of Atmospheric Research, CSIRO, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia.
  • | m Meteorology Department, Reading University, Reading, United Kingdom.
  • | n Institute of Water Problems, Moscow, Russia.
  • | o Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California.
  • | p Hydrological Sciences Branch, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland.
  • | q Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Meteorological Office, Berkshire, United Kingdom.
  • | r Department of Civil Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
  • | s Department of Civil Engineering and Operations Research, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
  • | t ECMWF, Reading, United Kingdom.
  • | u Department of Physics, GKSS–Research Center, Max-Planck-Strasse, Geesthacht, Germany.
  • | v Meteo-Frace/CNRM, Toulouse, France.
  • | w Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, Maryland.
  • | x Office of Hydrology, NWS/NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland.
  • | y Centre for Advanced Numerical Computation in Engineering and Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
  • | z Institute of Geography, Moscow, Russia.
  • | aa Climate Research Branch, Atmospheric Environment Service, Downsview, Ontario, Canada.
  • | bb Centre for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies, Calverton, Maryland.
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Abstract

In the Project for Intercomparison of Land-Surface Parameterization Schemes phase 2a experiment, meteorological data for the year 1987 from Cabauw, the Netherlands, were used as inputs to 23 land-surface flux schemes designed for use in climate and weather models. Schemes were evaluated by comparing their outputs with long-term measurements of surface sensible heat fluxes into the atmosphere and the ground, and of upward longwave radiation and total net radiative fluxes, and also comparing them with latent heat fluxes derived from a surface energy balance. Tuning of schemes by use of the observed flux data was not permitted. On an annual basis, the predicted surface radiative temperature exhibits a range of 2 K across schemes, consistent with the range of about 10 W m−2 in predicted surface net radiation. Most modeled values of monthly net radiation differ from the observations by less than the estimated maximum monthly observational error (±10 W m−2). However, modeled radiative surface temperature appears to have a systematic positive bias in most schemes; this might be explained by an error in assumed emissivity and by models’ neglect of canopy thermal heterogeneity. Annual means of sensible and latent heat fluxes, into which net radiation is partitioned, have ranges across schemes of30 W m−2 and 25 W m−2, respectively. Annual totals of evapotranspiration and runoff, into which the precipitation is partitioned, both have ranges of 315 mm. These ranges in annual heat and water fluxes were approximately halved upon exclusion of the three schemes that have no stomatal resistance under non-water-stressed conditions. Many schemes tend to underestimate latent heat flux and overestimate sensible heat flux in summer, with a reverse tendency in winter. For six schemes, root-mean-square deviations of predictions from monthly observations are less than the estimated upper bounds on observation errors (5 W m−2 for sensible heat flux and 10 W m−2 for latent heat flux). Actual runoff at the site is believed to be dominated by vertical drainage to groundwater, but several schemes produced significant amounts of runoff as overland flow or interflow. There is a range across schemes of 184 mm (40% of total pore volume) in the simulated annual mean root-zone soil moisture. Unfortunately, no measurements of soil moisture were available for model evaluation. A theoretical analysis suggested that differences in boundary conditions used in various schemes are not sufficient to explain the large variance in soil moisture. However, many of the extreme values of soil moisture could be explained in terms of the particulars of experimental setup or excessive evapotranspiration.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Tian Hong Chen, Australian Oceanographic Data Centre, Maritime Headquarters, Potts Point, NSW 2001, Australia.

Email: tian@aodc.gov.au

Abstract

In the Project for Intercomparison of Land-Surface Parameterization Schemes phase 2a experiment, meteorological data for the year 1987 from Cabauw, the Netherlands, were used as inputs to 23 land-surface flux schemes designed for use in climate and weather models. Schemes were evaluated by comparing their outputs with long-term measurements of surface sensible heat fluxes into the atmosphere and the ground, and of upward longwave radiation and total net radiative fluxes, and also comparing them with latent heat fluxes derived from a surface energy balance. Tuning of schemes by use of the observed flux data was not permitted. On an annual basis, the predicted surface radiative temperature exhibits a range of 2 K across schemes, consistent with the range of about 10 W m−2 in predicted surface net radiation. Most modeled values of monthly net radiation differ from the observations by less than the estimated maximum monthly observational error (±10 W m−2). However, modeled radiative surface temperature appears to have a systematic positive bias in most schemes; this might be explained by an error in assumed emissivity and by models’ neglect of canopy thermal heterogeneity. Annual means of sensible and latent heat fluxes, into which net radiation is partitioned, have ranges across schemes of30 W m−2 and 25 W m−2, respectively. Annual totals of evapotranspiration and runoff, into which the precipitation is partitioned, both have ranges of 315 mm. These ranges in annual heat and water fluxes were approximately halved upon exclusion of the three schemes that have no stomatal resistance under non-water-stressed conditions. Many schemes tend to underestimate latent heat flux and overestimate sensible heat flux in summer, with a reverse tendency in winter. For six schemes, root-mean-square deviations of predictions from monthly observations are less than the estimated upper bounds on observation errors (5 W m−2 for sensible heat flux and 10 W m−2 for latent heat flux). Actual runoff at the site is believed to be dominated by vertical drainage to groundwater, but several schemes produced significant amounts of runoff as overland flow or interflow. There is a range across schemes of 184 mm (40% of total pore volume) in the simulated annual mean root-zone soil moisture. Unfortunately, no measurements of soil moisture were available for model evaluation. A theoretical analysis suggested that differences in boundary conditions used in various schemes are not sufficient to explain the large variance in soil moisture. However, many of the extreme values of soil moisture could be explained in terms of the particulars of experimental setup or excessive evapotranspiration.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Tian Hong Chen, Australian Oceanographic Data Centre, Maritime Headquarters, Potts Point, NSW 2001, Australia.

Email: tian@aodc.gov.au

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