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  • Author or Editor: A. C. M. Beljaars x
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M. J. Miller
,
A. C. M. Beljaars
, and
T. N. Palmer

Abstract

Stimulated by the results of a simple SST anomaly experiment with the ECMWF forecast model, a study was carried out to examine the model parameterization of evaporation from the tropica] oceans. In earlier versions of the model, these fluxes were parameterized with neutral transfer coefficients in accordance with the Charnock relation with equal coefficients for momentum, heat, and moisture. Stability correction was applied using Monin-Obukhov theory. This parameterization resulted in an extremely weak coupling between atmosphere and ocean at wind speeds below 5 m s−1. The transfer coefficients for heat and moisture have now been modified for low wind speeds to bring them in accordance with the empirical scaling law for free convedion. It is shown that these revisions to the transfer coefficients at very low wind speeds (<5 m s1) have a dramatic positive impact on almost all aspects of the model's simulation of the tropics. These include much improved seasonal rainfall distributions (with the virtual elimination of a tendency to generate a double ITCZ in both winter and summer), a much improved Indian monsoon circulation, and substantially reduced tropical systematic errors. The model previously had an eagerly bias in the zonal-mean upper tropical tropospheric flow with a corresponding cold bias in the deep tropics; it is shown that the flux revision substantially reduces this. Furthermore, the revision to the fluxes greatly enhances the model's ability to represent interannual and intraseasonal variability (see also the companion paper by Palmer et al.).

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M. Rouault
,
C. J. C. Reason
,
J. R. E. Lutjeharms
, and
A. C. M. Beljaars

Abstract

The Agulhas Current is the major western boundary current of the Southern Hemisphere. South of Africa it retroflects back into the southwest Indian Ocean, transporting relatively warm water into the midlatitudes. Large sensible and latent heat transfers from the Agulhas Current and its retroflection to the atmosphere occur throughout the year, but particularly during winter. This study suggests that the NCEP and ECMWF models tend to underestimate these fluxes because they are unable to adequately represent the air–sea fluxes over the warmest waters in the core of the current. This core is only 80–100 km wide and it is suggested that the SST data used by these models do not have fine enough spatial resolution to properly represent the Agulhas Current and its mesoscale variability.

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T. H. Chen
,
A. Henderson-Sellers
,
P. C. D. Milly
,
A. J. Pitman
,
A. C. M. Beljaars
,
J. Polcher
,
F. Abramopoulos
,
A. Boone
,
S. Chang
,
F. Chen
,
Y. Dai
,
C. E. Desborough
,
R. E. Dickinson
,
L. Dümenil
,
M. Ek
,
J. R. Garratt
,
N. Gedney
,
Y. M. Gusev
,
J. Kim
,
R. Koster
,
E. A. Kowalczyk
,
K. Laval
,
J. Lean
,
D. Lettenmaier
,
X. Liang
,
J.-F. Mahfouf
,
H.-T. Mengelkamp
,
K. Mitchell
,
O. N. Nasonova
,
J. Noilhan
,
A. Robock
,
C. Rosenzweig
,
J. Schaake
,
C. A. Schlosser
,
J.-P. Schulz
,
Y. Shao
,
A. B. Shmakin
,
D. L. Verseghy
,
P. Wetzel
,
E. F. Wood
,
Y. Xue
,
Z.-L. Yang
, and
Q. Zeng

Abstract

In the Project for Intercomparison of Land-Surface Parameterization Schemes phase 2a experiment, meteorological data for the year 1987 from Cabauw, the Netherlands, were used as inputs to 23 land-surface flux schemes designed for use in climate and weather models. Schemes were evaluated by comparing their outputs with long-term measurements of surface sensible heat fluxes into the atmosphere and the ground, and of upward longwave radiation and total net radiative fluxes, and also comparing them with latent heat fluxes derived from a surface energy balance. Tuning of schemes by use of the observed flux data was not permitted. On an annual basis, the predicted surface radiative temperature exhibits a range of 2 K across schemes, consistent with the range of about 10 W m−2 in predicted surface net radiation. Most modeled values of monthly net radiation differ from the observations by less than the estimated maximum monthly observational error (±10 W m−2). However, modeled radiative surface temperature appears to have a systematic positive bias in most schemes; this might be explained by an error in assumed emissivity and by models’ neglect of canopy thermal heterogeneity. Annual means of sensible and latent heat fluxes, into which net radiation is partitioned, have ranges across schemes of30 W m−2 and 25 W m−2, respectively. Annual totals of evapotranspiration and runoff, into which the precipitation is partitioned, both have ranges of 315 mm. These ranges in annual heat and water fluxes were approximately halved upon exclusion of the three schemes that have no stomatal resistance under non-water-stressed conditions. Many schemes tend to underestimate latent heat flux and overestimate sensible heat flux in summer, with a reverse tendency in winter. For six schemes, root-mean-square deviations of predictions from monthly observations are less than the estimated upper bounds on observation errors (5 W m−2 for sensible heat flux and 10 W m−2 for latent heat flux). Actual runoff at the site is believed to be dominated by vertical drainage to groundwater, but several schemes produced significant amounts of runoff as overland flow or interflow. There is a range across schemes of 184 mm (40% of total pore volume) in the simulated annual mean root-zone soil moisture. Unfortunately, no measurements of soil moisture were available for model evaluation. A theoretical analysis suggested that differences in boundary conditions used in various schemes are not sufficient to explain the large variance in soil moisture. However, many of the extreme values of soil moisture could be explained in terms of the particulars of experimental setup or excessive evapotranspiration.

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