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  • Impacts of Land Use and Land Cover Change on the Atmosphere x
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Vinodkumar, A. Chandrasekar, K. Alapaty, and Dev Niyogi

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of the Flux-Adjusting Surface Data Assimilation System (FASDAS) and the four-dimensional data assimilation (FDDA) using analysis nudging on the simulation of a monsoon depression that formed over India during the 1999 Bay of Bengal Monsoon Experiment (BOBMEX) field campaign. FASDAS allows for the indirect assimilation/adjustment of soil moisture and soil temperature together with continuous direct surface data assimilation of surface temperature and surface humidity. Two additional numerical experiments [control (CTRL) and FDDA] were conducted to assess the relative improvements to the simulation by FASDAS. To improve the initial analysis for the FDDA and the surface data assimilation (SDA) runs, the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5) simulation utilized the humidity and temperature profiles from the NOAA Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS), surface winds from the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT), and the conventional meteorological upper-air (radiosonde/rawinsonde, pilot balloon) and surface data. The results from the three simulations are compared with each other as well as with NCEP–NCAR reanalysis, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), and the special buoy, ship, and radiosonde observations available during BOBMEX. As compared with the CTRL, the FASDAS and the FDDA runs resulted in (i) a relatively better-developed cyclonic circulation and (ii) a larger spatial area as well as increased rainfall amounts over the coastal regions after landfall. The FASDAS run showed a consistently improved model simulation performance in terms of reduced rms errors of surface humidity and surface temperature as compared with the CTRL and the FDDA runs.

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K. W. Oleson, G. B. Bonan, J. Feddema, M. Vertenstein, and C. S. B. Grimmond

Abstract

Urbanization, the expansion of built-up areas, is an important yet less-studied aspect of land use/land cover change in climate science. To date, most global climate models used to evaluate effects of land use/land cover change on climate do not include an urban parameterization. Here, the authors describe the formulation and evaluation of a parameterization of urban areas that is incorporated into the Community Land Model, the land surface component of the Community Climate System Model. The model is designed to be simple enough to be compatible with structural and computational constraints of a land surface model coupled to a global climate model yet complex enough to explore physically based processes known to be important in determining urban climatology. The city representation is based upon the “urban canyon” concept, which consists of roofs, sunlit and shaded walls, and canyon floor. The canyon floor is divided into pervious (e.g., residential lawns, parks) and impervious (e.g., roads, parking lots, sidewalks) fractions. Trapping of longwave radiation by canyon surfaces and solar radiation absorption and reflection is determined by accounting for multiple reflections. Separate energy balances and surface temperatures are determined for each canyon facet. A one-dimensional heat conduction equation is solved numerically for a 10-layer column to determine conduction fluxes into and out of canyon surfaces. Model performance is evaluated against measured fluxes and temperatures from two urban sites. Results indicate the model does a reasonable job of simulating the energy balance of cities.

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K. W. Oleson, G. B. Bonan, J. Feddema, and M. Vertenstein

Abstract

In a companion paper, the authors presented a formulation and evaluation of an urban parameterization designed to represent the urban energy balance in the Community Land Model. Here the robustness of the model is tested through sensitivity studies and the model’s ability to simulate urban heat islands in different environments is evaluated. Findings show that heat storage and sensible heat flux are most sensitive to uncertainties in the input parameters within the atmospheric and surface conditions considered here. The sensitivity studies suggest that attention should be paid not only to characterizing accurately the structure of the urban area (e.g., height-to-width ratio) but also to ensuring that the input data reflect the thermal admittance properties of each of the city surfaces. Simulations of the urban heat island show that the urban model is able to capture typical observed characteristics of urban climates qualitatively. In particular, the model produces a significant heat island that increases with height-to-width ratio. In urban areas, daily minimum temperatures increase more than daily maximum temperatures, resulting in a reduced diurnal temperature range relative to equivalent rural environments. The magnitude and timing of the heat island vary tremendously depending on the prevailing meteorological conditions and the characteristics of surrounding rural environments. The model also correctly increases the Bowen ratio and canopy air temperatures of urban systems as impervious fraction increases. In general, these findings are in agreement with those observed for real urban ecosystems. Thus, the model appears to be a useful tool for examining the nature of the urban climate within the framework of global climate models.

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Young-Kwon Lim, Ming Cai, Eugenia Kalnay, and Liming Zhou

Abstract

The impact of different surface vegetations on long-term surface temperature change is estimated by subtracting reanalysis trends in monthly surface temperature anomalies from observation trends over the last four decades. This is done using two reanalyses, namely, the 40-yr ECMWF (ERA-40) and NCEP–NCAR I (NNR), and two observation datasets, namely, Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN). The basis of the observation minus reanalysis (OMR) approach is that the NNR reanalysis surface fields, and to a lesser extent the ERA-40, are insensitive to surface processes associated with different vegetation types and their changes because the NNR does not use surface observations over land, whereas ERA-40 only uses surface temperature observations indirectly, in order to initialize soil temperature and moisture. As a result, the OMR trends can provide an estimate of surface effects on the observed temperature trends missing in the reanalyses. The OMR trends obtained from observation minus NNR show a strong and coherent sensitivity to the independently estimated surface vegetation from normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The correlation between the OMR trend and the NDVI indicates that the OMR trend decreases with surface vegetation, with a correlation < −0.5, indicating that there is a stronger surface response to global warming in arid regions, whereas the OMR response is reduced in highly vegetated areas. The OMR trend averaged over the desert areas (0 < NDVI < 0.1) shows a much larger increase of temperature (∼0.4°C decade−1) than over tropical forest areas (NDVI > 0.4) where the OMR trend is nearly zero. Areas of intermediate vegetation (0.1 < NDVI < 0.4), which are mostly found over midlatitudes, reveal moderate OMR trends (approximately 0.1°–0.3°C decade−1). The OMR trends are also very sensitive to the seasonal vegetation change. While the OMR trends have little seasonal dependence over deserts and tropical forests, whose vegetation state remains rather constant throughout the year, the OMR trends over the midlatitudes, in particular Europe and North America, exhibit strong seasonal variation in response to the NDVI fluctuations associated with deciduous vegetation. The OMR trend rises up approximately to 0.2°–0.3°C decade−1 in winter and early spring when the vegetation cover is low, and is only 0.1°C decade−1 in summer and early autumn with high vegetation. However, the Asian inlands (Russia, northern China with Tibet, and Mongolia) do not show this strong OMR variation despite their midlatitude location, because of the relatively permanent aridity of these regions.

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M. Baldi, G. A. Dalu, and R. A. Pielke Sr.

Abstract

It is shown that landscape variability decreases the temperature in the surface layer when, through mesoscale flow, cool air intrudes over warm patches, lifting warm air and weakening the static stability of the upper part of the planetary boundary layer. This mechanism generates regions of upward vertical motion and a sizable amount of available potential energy and can make the environment of the lower troposphere more favorable to cloud formation. This process is enhanced by light ambient wind through the generation of trapped propagating waves, which penetrate into the midtropospheric levels, transporting upward the thermal perturbations and weakening the static stability around the top of the boundary layer. At moderate ambient wind speeds, the presence of surface roughness changes strengthens the wave activity, further favoring the vertical transport of the thermal perturbations. When the intensity of the ambient wind is larger than 5 m s−1, the vertical velocities induced by the surface roughness changes prevail over those induced by the diabatic flux changes. The analysis is performed using a linear theory in which the mesoscale dynamics are forced by the diurnal diabatic sensible heat flux and by the surface stress. Results are shown as a function of ambient flow intensity and of the wavelength of a sinusoidal landscape variability.

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