A Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) has been developed. Its purpose is to ingest satellite- and ground-based observational data products, using advanced land surface modeling and data assimilation techniques, in order to generate optimal fields of land surface states and fluxes. GLDAS is unique in that it is an uncoupled land surface modeling system that drives multiple models, integrates a huge quantity of observation-based data, runs globally at high resolution (0.25°), and produces results in near–real time (typically within 48 h of the present). GLDAS is also a test bed for innovative modeling and assimilation capabilities. A vegetation-based “tiling” approach is used to simulate subgrid-scale variability, with a 1-km global vegetation dataset as its basis. Soil and elevation parameters are based on high-resolution global datasets. Observation-based precipitation and downward radiation and output fields from the best available global coupled atmospheric data assimilation systems are employed as forcing data. The high-quality, global land surface fields provided by GLDAS will be used to initialize weather and climate prediction models and will promote various hydrometeorological studies and applications. The ongoing GLDAS archive (started in 2001) of modeled and observed, global, surface meteorological data, parameter maps, and output is publicly available.
Hydrological Sciences Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Hydrological Sciences Branch, and Data Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, and NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Camp Springs, Maryland
NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Camp Springs, Maryland
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
*Current affiliation: NASA, Washington, D.C.