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Impacts of a Parameterization Deficiency on Offline and Coupled Land Surface Model Simulations

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  • 1 Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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Abstract

Surface water and energy balance plays an important role in land surface models, especially in coupled land surface–atmospheric models due to the complicated interactions between land surfaces and the overlying atmosphere. The primary purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the significant negative impacts that a minor deficiency in the parameterization of canopy evaporation may have on offline and coupled land surface model simulations. In this research, using the offline NCAR Land Surface Model (LSM) and the locally coupled NCAR Single-column Community Climate Model (SCCM) as examples, intensive effort has been focused on the exploration of the mechanisms involved in the activation of unrealistically high canopy evaporation and thus unreasonable surface energy partitions because of a minor deficiency in the parameterization of canopy evaporation. The main causes responsible for exacerbating the impacts of the deficiency of the land surface model through the coupling of the two components are analyzed, along with possible impacts of land surface parameters in triggering the problems. Results from experimental runs show that, for a large number of randomly generated physically realistic land surface parameter sets, this model deficiency has caused the occurrences of negative canopy water with a significantly high frequency for both the offline NCAR LSM and the coupled NCAR SCCM, suggesting that land surface parameters are not the only important factors in triggering the problems associated with the model deficiency. In addition, the concurrence of intense solar radiation and enough precipitation is identified to be mainly responsible for exacerbating the negative impacts of the parameterization deficiency. Finally, a simple adjustment has been made in this study to effectively prevent the occurrences of negative canopy water storages, leading to significantly improved model performances.

Current affiliation: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

Additional affiliation; Regents Professor and Director of NSF-STC, SAHRA, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Corresponding author address: Dr. Soroosh Sorooshian, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, The University of Arizona, Building 11 Room 122, P.O. Box 210011, Tucson, AZ 85721. Email: soroosh@hwr.arizona.edu

Abstract

Surface water and energy balance plays an important role in land surface models, especially in coupled land surface–atmospheric models due to the complicated interactions between land surfaces and the overlying atmosphere. The primary purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the significant negative impacts that a minor deficiency in the parameterization of canopy evaporation may have on offline and coupled land surface model simulations. In this research, using the offline NCAR Land Surface Model (LSM) and the locally coupled NCAR Single-column Community Climate Model (SCCM) as examples, intensive effort has been focused on the exploration of the mechanisms involved in the activation of unrealistically high canopy evaporation and thus unreasonable surface energy partitions because of a minor deficiency in the parameterization of canopy evaporation. The main causes responsible for exacerbating the impacts of the deficiency of the land surface model through the coupling of the two components are analyzed, along with possible impacts of land surface parameters in triggering the problems. Results from experimental runs show that, for a large number of randomly generated physically realistic land surface parameter sets, this model deficiency has caused the occurrences of negative canopy water with a significantly high frequency for both the offline NCAR LSM and the coupled NCAR SCCM, suggesting that land surface parameters are not the only important factors in triggering the problems associated with the model deficiency. In addition, the concurrence of intense solar radiation and enough precipitation is identified to be mainly responsible for exacerbating the negative impacts of the parameterization deficiency. Finally, a simple adjustment has been made in this study to effectively prevent the occurrences of negative canopy water storages, leading to significantly improved model performances.

Current affiliation: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

Additional affiliation; Regents Professor and Director of NSF-STC, SAHRA, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Corresponding author address: Dr. Soroosh Sorooshian, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, The University of Arizona, Building 11 Room 122, P.O. Box 210011, Tucson, AZ 85721. Email: soroosh@hwr.arizona.edu

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