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M. F. P. Bierkens and L. P. H. van Beek

components of the climate system, such as sea surface temperature (SST) and related large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns ( Cullen et al. 2002 ; Peterson et al. 2002 ; Tootle et al. 2005 ). In Europe, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is considered to be the strongest driver of interyear climate variability ( Hurrell and van Loon 1997 ; Appenzeller et al. 1998 ) and the main factor explaining anomalies in winter precipitation and temperature ( Hurrell 1995 ). Owing to the connection between

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Vahid Naeimi, Zoltan Bartalis, and Wolfgang Wagner

the interaction of microwaves with the earth’s surface, retrieval methods have been mostly experimental and limited to certain climatic regions. One of the long-term global remotely sensed soil moisture datasets available today is the dataset derived from European Remote Sensing Satellites 1 and 2 ( ERS-1 ) and ( ERS-2 ) scatterometers (SCATs; coarse-resolution radar instruments with superior radiometric accuracy), using a soil moisture retrieval algorithm developed at the Vienna University of

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Adriaan J. Teuling, Remko Uijlenhoet, Bart van den Hurk, and Sonia I. Seneviratne

have also been applied to describe soil moisture observations in regions with either strong or weak seasonality in forcing (e.g., Calanca 2004 ; Teuling et al. 2005 ; Miller et al. 2007 ; Teuling et al. 2007 ). The stochastic models are described in section 2 . Soil parameters are taken from three LSMs used within the European Land Data Assimilation System project (ELDAS). For more information on the ELDAS soil moisture, we refer to Jacobs et al. (2008) and van den Hurk et al. (2008) . The

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J. M. Schuurmans and M. F. P. Bierkens

System (EPS) of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) as input for a spatially distributed hydrological model focusing on soil moisture instead of discharge. The ECMWF EPS system produces six hourly rainfall outputs in the form of an operational run, a control run, and 50 ensembles. The operational run is the full model run at high resolution. The control run has the same input conditions as the operational run; however, for calculation time reduction the model resolution is

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Dingchen Hou, Kenneth Mitchell, Zoltan Toth, Dag Lohmann, and Helin Wei

Sutcliffe J. V. , 1970 : River flow forecasting through conceptual models. Part I: A discussion of principles. J. Hydrol. , 10 , 282 – 290 . 10.1016/0022-1694(70)90255-6 Pappenberger, F. , Beven K. J. , Hunter N. M. , Bates P. D. , Gouweleeuw B. T. , Thielen J. , and de Roo A. P. J. , 2005 : Cascading model uncertainty from medium range weather forecasts (10 days) through a rainfall-runoff model to flood inundation predictions within the European Flood Forecasting System (EFFS

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