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The Land Surface Climatology of the NCAR Land Surface Model Coupled to the NCAR Community Climate Model

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Land Surface Model (LSM, version 1.0) provides a comprehensive treatment of land surface processes for the NCAR Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3). It replaces the prescribed surface wetness, prescribed snow cover, surface albedo, and surface flux parameterizations used in the CCM2. A 15-yr simulation of the coupled atmosphere (CCM3) and land (LSM1.0) models using observed sea surface temperatures for the period December 1978–September 1993 is used to document the model’s land surface climate. The model simulates many of the observed geographic and seasonal patterns of surface air temperature, precipitation, and soil water. In general, the transition seasons (spring, autumn) are better simulated than winter and summer. Annual precipitation and runoff are well simulated for some river basins and poorly simulated for others. In general, precipitation is better simulated than runoff. The inclusion of net land–atmosphere CO2 exchange is an important component of the land model, allowing it to be used for studies of the global carbon cycle. The model simulates annual net primary production that is consistent with other estimates of annual production. The model also simulates a clearly defined growing season based on temperature and soil water.

Corresponding author address: Gordon B. Bonan, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, Colorado 80307-3000.

Email: bonan@ncar.ucar.edu

Abstract

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Land Surface Model (LSM, version 1.0) provides a comprehensive treatment of land surface processes for the NCAR Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3). It replaces the prescribed surface wetness, prescribed snow cover, surface albedo, and surface flux parameterizations used in the CCM2. A 15-yr simulation of the coupled atmosphere (CCM3) and land (LSM1.0) models using observed sea surface temperatures for the period December 1978–September 1993 is used to document the model’s land surface climate. The model simulates many of the observed geographic and seasonal patterns of surface air temperature, precipitation, and soil water. In general, the transition seasons (spring, autumn) are better simulated than winter and summer. Annual precipitation and runoff are well simulated for some river basins and poorly simulated for others. In general, precipitation is better simulated than runoff. The inclusion of net land–atmosphere CO2 exchange is an important component of the land model, allowing it to be used for studies of the global carbon cycle. The model simulates annual net primary production that is consistent with other estimates of annual production. The model also simulates a clearly defined growing season based on temperature and soil water.

Corresponding author address: Gordon B. Bonan, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, Colorado 80307-3000.

Email: bonan@ncar.ucar.edu

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