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  • Author or Editor: E. A. Kowalczyk x
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J. R. Garratt
,
P. A. C. Howells
, and
E. Kowalczyk

Abstract

Observations of intense, dry summertime cold fronts in southeast Australia provide evidence for frontal deformation (cold air surges) in the coastal region well to the west of the main mountain range. This compares with the severe deformation that occurs when such cold fronts, known as Southerly Busters, interact with the mountains to the east. Three-dimensional numerical simulations of unsteady gravity currents, in the absence of orography, provide some insight into the factors affecting the evolution of cold air surges, including differential friction between land and sea; boundary-layer heating over land and the magnitude of the large-scale offshore wind. The latter affects, in turn, the presence of an internal boundary layer of cool air in the prefrontal region over the sea and a sea breeze over land. Depending upon the magnitude of the offshore wind a preferred region of enhanced vertical motion occurs just ahead of the gravity-current front, and within about 200 km of the coastline. This carries implications for the prefrontal development of squall lines that is commonly observed in summer.

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J. R. Garratt
,
P. B. Krummel
, and
E. A. Kowalczyk

Abstract

Aspects of the mean monthly energy balance at continental surfaces are examined by appeal to the results of general circulation model (GCM) simulations, climatological maps of surface fluxes, and direct observations. Emphasis is placed on net radiation and evaporation for (i) five continental regions (each approximately 20°×150°) within Africa, Australia, Eurasia, South America, and the United States; (ii) a number of continental sites in both hemispheres. Both the mean monthly values of the local and regional fluxes and the mean monthly diurnal cycles of the local fluxes are described. Mostly, GCMs tend to overestimate the mean monthly levels of net radiation by about 15% –20% on an annual basis, for observed annual values in the range 50 to 100 Wm−2. This is probably the result of several deficiencies, including (i) continental surface albedos being undervalued in a number of the models, resulting in overestimates of the net shortwave flux at the surface (though this deficiency is steadily being addressed by modelers); (ii) incoming shortwave fluxes being overestimated due to uncertainties in cloud schemes and clear-sky absorption; (iii) land-surface temperatures being under-estimated resulting in an underestimate of the outgoing longwave flux. In contrast, and even allowing for the poor observational base for evaporation, there is no obvious overall bias in mean monthly levels of evaporation determined in GCMS, with one or two exceptions. Rather, and far more so than with net radiation, there is a wide range in values of evaporation for all regions investigated. For continental regions and at times of the year of low to moderate rainfall, there is a tendency for the simulated evaporation to be closely related to the precipitation-this is not surprising. In contrast, for regions where there is sufficient or excessive rainfall, the evaporation tends to follow the behavior of the net radiation. Again, this is not surprising given the close relation between potential evaporation and net radiation, as discussed by Priestley and Taylor. Finally, the introduction into GCMs of an “improved” surface scheme (incorporating more realistic representations of soil and canopy processes and revised albedos) does tend to improve the calculations of both regional net radiation and evaporation.

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A. G. Slater
,
C. A. Schlosser
,
C. E. Desborough
,
A. J. Pitman
,
A. Henderson-Sellers
,
A. Robock
,
K. Ya Vinnikov
,
J. Entin
,
K. Mitchell
,
F. Chen
,
A. Boone
,
P. Etchevers
,
F. Habets
,
J. Noilhan
,
H. Braden
,
P. M. Cox
,
P. de Rosnay
,
R. E. Dickinson
,
Z-L. Yang
,
Y-J. Dai
,
Q. Zeng
,
Q. Duan
,
V. Koren
,
S. Schaake
,
N. Gedney
,
Ye M. Gusev
,
O. N. Nasonova
,
J. Kim
,
E. A. Kowalczyk
,
A. B. Shmakin
,
T. G. Smirnova
,
D. Verseghy
,
P. Wetzel
, and
Y. Xue

Abstract

Twenty-one land surface schemes (LSSs) performed simulations forced by 18 yr of observed meteorological data from a grassland catchment at Valdai, Russia, as part of the Project for the Intercomparison of Land-Surface Parameterization Schemes (PILPS) Phase 2(d). In this paper the authors examine the simulation of snow. In comparison with observations, the models are able to capture the broad features of the snow regime on both an intra- and interannual basis. However, weaknesses in the simulations exist, and early season ablation events are a significant source of model scatter. Over the 18-yr simulation, systematic differences between the models’ snow simulations are evident and reveal specific aspects of snow model parameterization and design as being responsible. Vapor exchange at the snow surface varies widely among the models, ranging from a large net loss to a small net source for the snow season. Snow albedo, fractional snow cover, and their interplay have a large effect on energy available for ablation, with differences among models most evident at low snow depths. The incorporation of the snowpack within an LSS structure affects the method by which snow accesses, as well as utilizes, available energy for ablation. The sensitivity of some models to longwave radiation, the dominant winter radiative flux, is partly due to a stability-induced feedback and the differing abilities of models to exchange turbulent energy with the atmosphere. Results presented in this paper suggest where weaknesses in macroscale snow modeling lie and where both theoretical and observational work should be focused to address these weaknesses.

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Weiqing Qu
,
A. Henderson-Sellers
,
A. J. Pitman
,
T. H. Chen
,
F. Abramopoulos
,
A. Boone
,
S. Chang
,
F. Chen
,
Y. Dai
,
R. E. Dickinson
,
L. Dümenil
,
M. Ek
,
N. Gedney
,
Y. M. Gusev
,
J. Kim
,
R. Koster
,
E. A. Kowalczyk
,
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
,
A. B. Shmakin
,
D. L. Verseghy
,
P. Wetzel
,
E. F. Wood
,
Z.-L. Yang
, and
Q. Zeng

Abstract

In the PILPS Phase 2a experiment, 23 land-surface schemes were compared in an off-line control experiment using observed meteorological data from Cabauw, the Netherlands. Two simple sensitivity experiments were also undertaken in which the observed surface air temperature was artificially increased or decreased by 2 K while all other factors remained as observed. On the annual timescale, all schemes show similar responses to these perturbations in latent, sensible heat flux, and other key variables. For the 2-K increase in temperature, surface temperatures and latent heat fluxes all increase while net radiation, sensible heat fluxes, and soil moistures all decrease. The results are reversed for a 2-K temperature decrease. The changes in sensible heat fluxes and, especially, the changes in the latent heat fluxes are not linearly related to the change of temperature. Theoretically, the nonlinear relationship between air temperature and the latent heat flux is evident and due to the convex relationship between air temperature and saturation vapor pressure. A simple test shows that, the effect of the change of air temperature on the atmospheric stratification aside, this nonlinear relationship is shown in the form that the increase of the latent heat flux for a 2-K temperature increase is larger than its decrease for a 2-K temperature decrease. However, the results from the Cabauw sensitivity experiments show that the increase of the latent heat flux in the +2-K experiment is smaller than the decrease of the latent heat flux in the −2-K experiment (we refer to this as the asymmetry). The analysis in this paper shows that this inconsistency between the theoretical relationship and the Cabauw sensitivity experiments results (or the asymmetry) is due to (i) the involvement of the β g formulation, which is a function of a series stress factors that limited the evaporation and whose values change in the ±2-K experiments, leading to strong modifications of the latent heat flux; (ii) the change of the drag coefficient induced by the changes in stratification due to the imposed air temperature changes (±2 K) in parameterizations of latent heat flux common in current land-surface schemes. Among all stress factors involved in the β g formulation, the soil moisture stress in the +2-K experiment induced by the increased evaporation is the main factor that contributes to the asymmetry.

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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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