GLACE: The Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment. Part I: Overview

Randal D. Koster NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Y. C. Sud NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Zhichang Guo Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies, Calverton, Maryland

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Paul A. Dirmeyer Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies, Calverton, Maryland

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Gordon Bonan National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Keith W. Oleson National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Edmond Chan Meteorological Service of Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Diana Verseghy Meteorological Service of Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Peter Cox Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Dorset, Dorset, United Kingdom

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Harvey Davies CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia

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Eva Kowalczyk CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia

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C. T. Gordon Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey

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Shinjiro Kanae Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan

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David Lawrence University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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Ping Liu Science Applications International Corporation, Beltsville, Maryland

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David Mocko Science Applications International Corporation, Beltsville, Maryland

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Cheng-Hsuan Lu National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Camp Springs, Maryland

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Ken Mitchell National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Camp Springs, Maryland

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Sergey Malyshev Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Bryant McAvaney Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Taikan Oki University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

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Tomohito Yamada University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

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Andrew Pitman Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia

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Christopher M. Taylor Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

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Ratko Vasic University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

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Yongkang Xue University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

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Abstract

The Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) is a model intercomparison study focusing on a typically neglected yet critical element of numerical weather and climate modeling: land–atmosphere coupling strength, or the degree to which anomalies in land surface state (e.g., soil moisture) can affect rainfall generation and other atmospheric processes. The 12 AGCM groups participating in GLACE performed a series of simple numerical experiments that allow the objective quantification of this element for boreal summer. The derived coupling strengths vary widely. Some similarity, however, is found in the spatial patterns generated by the models, with enough similarity to pinpoint multimodel “hot spots” of land–atmosphere coupling. For boreal summer, such hot spots for precipitation and temperature are found over large regions of Africa, central North America, and India; a hot spot for temperature is also found over eastern China. The design of the GLACE simulations are described in full detail so that any interested modeling group can repeat them easily and thereby place their model’s coupling strength within the broad range of those documented here.

Corresponding author address: Randal Koster, NASA GFSC, Code 610.1, Greenbelt, MD 20771. Email: randal.d.koster@nasa.gov

Abstract

The Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) is a model intercomparison study focusing on a typically neglected yet critical element of numerical weather and climate modeling: land–atmosphere coupling strength, or the degree to which anomalies in land surface state (e.g., soil moisture) can affect rainfall generation and other atmospheric processes. The 12 AGCM groups participating in GLACE performed a series of simple numerical experiments that allow the objective quantification of this element for boreal summer. The derived coupling strengths vary widely. Some similarity, however, is found in the spatial patterns generated by the models, with enough similarity to pinpoint multimodel “hot spots” of land–atmosphere coupling. For boreal summer, such hot spots for precipitation and temperature are found over large regions of Africa, central North America, and India; a hot spot for temperature is also found over eastern China. The design of the GLACE simulations are described in full detail so that any interested modeling group can repeat them easily and thereby place their model’s coupling strength within the broad range of those documented here.

Corresponding author address: Randal Koster, NASA GFSC, Code 610.1, Greenbelt, MD 20771. Email: randal.d.koster@nasa.gov

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