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Omar V. Müller, Ernesto Hugo Berbery, Domingo Alcaraz-Segura, and Michael B. Ek

impacts on the climate conditions. This is particularly relevant for southern South America, where the replacement of native vegetation (e.g., by croplands) has extensively occurred in recent years ( Volante et al. 2012 ). The USGS classification used in the Noah LSM prescribes 24 constant land-cover categories, and each is assigned 15 biophysical properties like rooting depth, minimum and maximum albedo, and surface roughness ( Chen and Dudhia 2001 ). This approach has several limitations since the

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Siegfried D. Schubert, Ronald E. Stewart, Hailan Wang, Mathew Barlow, Ernesto H. Berbery, Wenju Cai, Martin P. Hoerling, Krishna K. Kanikicharla, Randal D. Koster, Bradfield Lyon, Annarita Mariotti, Carlos R. Mechoso, Omar V. Müller, Belen Rodriguez-Fonseca, Richard Seager, Sonia I. Seneviratne, Lixia Zhang, and Tianjun Zhou

must emphasize that current climate models, including the AGCMs used here, are far from perfect. A key factor emphasized in many of the contributing articles and further highlighted here is the challenge of reproducing some of the complex local precipitation regimes (including the annual cycle) that must be simulated correctly in order to properly simulate the impact of large-scale forcing on regional drought. The relatively coarse resolution of current climate models hinders that process, and so

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Lixia Zhang and Tianjun Zhou

: Roles of Indian and Pacific Ocean air–sea coupling in tropical atmospheric variability . Climate Dyn. , 25 , 155 – 170 , doi: 10.1007/s00382-005-0003-x . Wu , R. , and B. P. Kirtman , 2007 : Regimes of seasonal air–sea interaction and implications for performance of forced simulations . Climate Dyn. , 29 , 393 – 410 , doi: 10.1007/s00382-007-0246-9 . Wu , R. , Z. Hu , and B. Kirtman , 2003 : Evolution of ENSO-related rainfall anomalies in East Asia . J. Climate , 16 , 3742

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Siegfried D. Schubert, Hailan Wang, Randal D. Koster, Max J. Suarez, and Pavel Ya. Groisman

). The similarity to the variance of the Ped index (cf. Fig. 1 , right panels) is not surprising since both measures depend on the correlation between the temperature and precipitation. Furthermore these regions occur in the transition between so-called water-limited (to the south) and energy-limited (to the north) climate regimes ( Koster et al. 2006a , their Fig. 4a), where land feedbacks are particularly important ( Koster et al. 2004 ). We will look more directly at the impact of soil moisture

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