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Ruth E. Comer and Martin J. Best

1. Introduction Soil moisture plays an important role in modifying the behavior of the atmosphere by its influence on land surface fluxes of moisture, energy, carbon, and trace gases [ Seneviratne et al. (2010) and references therein]. Of particular interest is the way in which the effects of these moisture and energy fluxes combine to create feedbacks on precipitation. Such feedbacks are complex because of their dependence on a variety of mechanisms. The scarcity of observations of soil

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Xubin Zeng, Zhuo Wang, and Aihui Wang

1. Introduction Land–atmosphere interaction plays an important role in weather, climate, and global/regional environmental change. For this reason, various international programs have been established in the past three decades to address the relevant scientific issues, such as the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX; http://www.gewex.org ), the (earlier) Biospheric Aspects of the Hydrological Cycle (BASC; Kabat et al. 2004 ), and (its successor) integrated Land Ecosystem–Atmosphere

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Joseph A. Santanello Jr., Christa D. Peters-Lidard, Aaron Kennedy, and Sujay V. Kumar

1. Introduction Quantification of the land surface influence on extremes such as flood and drought is critical for both short-term weather and climate prediction. These dry and wet regimes are modulated by the strength and sensitivity of the land–atmosphere (L–A) coupling and, in particular, how anomalies in soil moisture are translated into and through the planetary boundary layer (PBL), ultimately favoring or suppressing the triggering and support of clouds and precipitation. Improved

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Agustín Robles-Morua, Enrique R. Vivoni, and Alex S. Mayer

radiation suggests that correspondence may exist between runoff mechanisms, which typically depend on seasonal wetness, and the land–atmosphere interactions arising during the NAM. Several studies have investigated how soil moisture plays a role in land–atmosphere exchanges and their impact on subsequent rainfall generation in the NAM region (e.g., Small 2001 ; Xu et al. 2004 ; Vivoni et al. 2009 ). This interaction arises from a positive soil moisture–rainfall feedback ( Eltahir 1998 ) that has been

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