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

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

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J. L. McGregor 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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Eva Kowalczyk CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia

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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 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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