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GLACE: The Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment. Part II: Analysis

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  • 1 Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies, Calverton, Maryland
  • | 2 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | 3 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 4 Meteorological Service of Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • | 5 Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Dorset, Dorset, United Kingdom
  • | 6 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey
  • | 7 Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan
  • | 8 CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia
  • | 9 University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom
  • | 10 Science Applications International Corporation, Beltsville, Maryland
  • | 11 National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Camp Springs, Maryland
  • | 12 Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
  • | 13 Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • | 14 University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • | 15 Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
  • | 16 Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
  • | 17 University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
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Abstract

The 12 weather and climate models participating in the Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) show both a wide variation in the strength of land–atmosphere coupling and some intriguing commonalities. In this paper, the causes of variations in coupling strength—both the geographic variations within a given model and the model-to-model differences—are addressed. The ability of soil moisture to affect precipitation is examined in two stages, namely, the ability of the soil moisture to affect evaporation, and the ability of evaporation to affect precipitation. Most of the differences between the models and within a given model are found to be associated with the first stage—an evaporation rate that varies strongly and consistently with soil moisture tends to lead to a higher coupling strength. The first-stage differences reflect identifiable differences in model parameterization and model climate. Intermodel differences in the evaporation–precipitation connection, however, also play a key role.

Corresponding author address: Zhichang Guo, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, 4041 Powder Mill Road, Suite 302, Calverton, MD 20705-3106. Email: guo@cola.iges.org

Abstract

The 12 weather and climate models participating in the Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) show both a wide variation in the strength of land–atmosphere coupling and some intriguing commonalities. In this paper, the causes of variations in coupling strength—both the geographic variations within a given model and the model-to-model differences—are addressed. The ability of soil moisture to affect precipitation is examined in two stages, namely, the ability of the soil moisture to affect evaporation, and the ability of evaporation to affect precipitation. Most of the differences between the models and within a given model are found to be associated with the first stage—an evaporation rate that varies strongly and consistently with soil moisture tends to lead to a higher coupling strength. The first-stage differences reflect identifiable differences in model parameterization and model climate. Intermodel differences in the evaporation–precipitation connection, however, also play a key role.

Corresponding author address: Zhichang Guo, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, 4041 Powder Mill Road, Suite 302, Calverton, MD 20705-3106. Email: guo@cola.iges.org

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