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Masao Kanamitsu, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Jae Schemm, and Wesley Ebisuzaki

Abstract

Using the NCEP–DOE reanalysis (R-2) soil wetness and the NCEP Seasonal Forecast System, seasonal predictability of the soil moisture and near-surface temperature, and the role of land surface initial conditions are examined. Two sets of forecasts were made, one starting from climatological soil moisture as initial condition and the other from R-2 soil moisture analysis. Each set consisted of 10-member ensemble runs of 7-month duration. Initial conditions were taken from the first 5 days of April, 12 h apart, for the 1979–96 period.

The predictive skill of soil moisture was found to be high over arid/semiarid regions. The model prediction surpassed the persisted anomaly forecast, and the soil moisture initial condition was essential for skillful predictions over these areas. Over temperate zones with more precipitation, and over tropical monsoon regions, the predictive skill of the soil moisture declined steeply in the first 3–4 months. This is due to the difficulties in predicting precipitation accurately. In contrast, the situation was very different over tropical South America where tropical SST forcing controlled the precipitation and where the model simulated the precipitation well. The forecast starting from climatological soil moisture approached the forecast skill of initial soil moisture in 3–4 months; after that the effect of initial soil moisture information tended to disappear.

The near-surface temperature anomaly forecast was closely related to the soil moisture anomaly forecast, but the skill was lower. The verification of temperature made against the U.S. 344 climate division data indicated that the improvement in the forecast skill was not an artifact of the R-2 soil moisture analysis.

It was suggested that the equatorial Pacific SST anomaly had an impact on the soil moisture anomaly over the continental United States during the first month of integration, and then it contributed positively toward the prediction of near-surface temperature during the following months.

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Laurel L. De Haan, Masao Kanamitsu, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, and John O. Roads

Abstract

The Noah land surface model (LSM) has recently been implemented into the Experimental Climate Prediction Center’s (ECPC’s) global Seasonal Forecast Model (SFM). Its performance is compared to the older ECPC SFM with the Oregon State University (OSU) LSM using two sets of 10-member 50-yr Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) runs. The climatological biases of several fields tend to increase with the Noah LSM. The differences in near-surface temperature bias are traced to changes in the energy budget. In addition to climatology, the variability and skill (anomaly correlation with observations) of the two ensembles are considered. Unlike the climatology, the near-surface temperature skill of the ECPC SFM generally improves with the Noah LSM. Other climatological fields, such as precipitation, show little change in skill.

While the global results are mixed, there are however significant regional improvements over Africa both in terms of climatological bias and skill. In the central African Congo River basin, the Noah LSM removed a warm-dry bias and improved upon the near-surface temperature skill of the OSU LSM. In the African Sahel, the Noah LSM greatly enhanced the climatology, variability, and skill of the ECPC SFM as well as improving the location of the African easterly jet.

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Li Zhang, Paul A. Dirmeyer, Jiangfeng Wei, Zhichang Guo, and Cheng-Hsuan Lu

Abstract

The operational coupled land–atmosphere forecast model from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) is evaluated for the strength and characteristics of its coupling in the water cycle between land and atmosphere. Following the protocols of the Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) it is found that the Global Forecast System (GFS) atmospheric model coupled to the Noah land surface model exhibits extraordinarily weak land–atmosphere coupling, much as its predecessor, the GFS–Oregon State University (OSU) coupled system. The coupling strength is evaluated by the ability of subsurface soil wetness to affect locally the time series of precipitation. The surface fluxes in Noah are also found to be rather insensitive to subsurface soil wetness. Comparison to another atmospheric model coupled to Noah as well as a different land surface model show that Noah is responsible for some of the lack of sensitivity, primarily because its thick (10 cm) surface layer dominates the variability in surface latent heat fluxes. Noah is found to be as responsive as other land surface models to surface soil wetness and temperature variations, suggesting the design of the GLACE sensitivity experiment (based only on subsurface soil wetness) handicapped the Noah model. Additional experiments, in which the parameterization of evapotranspiration is altered, as well as experiments where surface soil wetness is also constrained, isolate the GFS atmospheric model as the principal source of the weak sensitivity of precipitation to land surface states.

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Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Masao Kanamitsu, John O. Roads, Wesley Ebisuzaki, Kenneth E. Mitchell, and Dag Lohmann

Abstract

This study compares soil moisture analyses from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) global reanalysis (R-1) and the later NCEP– Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) global reanalysis (R-2). The R-1 soil moisture is strongly controlled by nudging it to a prescribed climatology, whereas the R-2 soil moisture is adjusted according to differences between model-generated and observed precipitation. While mean soil moisture fields from R-1 and R-2 show many geographic similarities, there are some major differences. This study uses in situ observations from the Global Soil Moisture Data Bank to evaluate the two global reanalysis products. In general, R-2 does a better job of simulating interannual variations, the mean seasonal cycle, and the persistence of soil moisture, when compared to observations. However, the R-2 reanalysis does not necessarily represent observed soil moisture characteristics well in all aspects. Sometimes R-1 provides a better soil moisture analysis on monthly time scales, which is likely a consequence of the deficiencies in the R-2 surface water balance.

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Sonia I. Seneviratne, Randal D. Koster, Zhichang Guo, Paul A. Dirmeyer, Eva Kowalczyk, David Lawrence, Ping Liu, David Mocko, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Keith W. Oleson, and Diana Verseghy

Abstract

Soil moisture memory is a key aspect of land–atmosphere interaction and has major implications for seasonal forecasting. Because of a severe lack of soil moisture observations on most continents, existing analyses of global-scale soil moisture memory have relied previously on atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) experiments, with derived conclusions that are probably model dependent. The present study is the first survey examining and contrasting global-scale (near) monthly soil moisture memory characteristics across a broad range of AGCMs. The investigated simulations, performed with eight different AGCMs, were generated as part of the Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment.

Overall, the AGCMs present relatively similar global patterns of soil moisture memory. Outliers are generally characterized by anomalous water-holding capacity or biases in radiation forcing. Water-holding capacity is highly variable among the analyzed AGCMs and is the main factor responsible for intermodel differences in soil moisture memory. Therefore, further studies on this topic should focus on the accurate characterization of this parameter for present AGCMs. Despite the range in the AGCMs’ behavior, the average soil moisture memory characteristics of the models appear realistic when compared to available in situ soil moisture observations. An analysis of the processes controlling soil moisture memory in the AGCMs demonstrates that it is mostly controlled by two effects: evaporation’s sensitivity to soil moisture, which increases with decreasing soil moisture content, and runoff’s sensitivity to soil moisture, which increases with increasing soil moisture content. Soil moisture memory is highest in regions of medium soil moisture content, where both effects are small.

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Randal D. Koster, Y. C. Sud, Zhichang Guo, Paul A. Dirmeyer, Gordon Bonan, Keith W. Oleson, Edmond Chan, Diana Verseghy, Peter Cox, Harvey Davies, Eva Kowalczyk, C. T. Gordon, Shinjiro Kanae, David Lawrence, Ping Liu, David Mocko, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Ken Mitchell, Sergey Malyshev, Bryant McAvaney, Taikan Oki, Tomohito Yamada, Andrew Pitman, Christopher M. Taylor, Ratko Vasic, and Yongkang Xue

Abstract

The Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) is a model intercomparison study focusing on a typically neglected yet critical element of numerical weather and climate modeling: land–atmosphere coupling strength, or the degree to which anomalies in land surface state (e.g., soil moisture) can affect rainfall generation and other atmospheric processes. The 12 AGCM groups participating in GLACE performed a series of simple numerical experiments that allow the objective quantification of this element for boreal summer. The derived coupling strengths vary widely. Some similarity, however, is found in the spatial patterns generated by the models, with enough similarity to pinpoint multimodel “hot spots” of land–atmosphere coupling. For boreal summer, such hot spots for precipitation and temperature are found over large regions of Africa, central North America, and India; a hot spot for temperature is also found over eastern China. The design of the GLACE simulations are described in full detail so that any interested modeling group can repeat them easily and thereby place their model’s coupling strength within the broad range of those documented here.

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Sara Lance, Jie Zhang, James J. Schwab, Paul Casson, Richard E. Brandt, David R. Fitzjarrald, Margaret J. Schwab, John Sicker, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Sheng-Po Chen, Jeongran Yun, Jeffrey M. Freedman, Bhupal Shrestha, Qilong Min, Mark Beauharnois, Brian Crandall, Everette Joseph, Matthew J. Brewer, Justin R. Minder, Daniel Orlowski, Amy Christiansen, Annmarie G. Carlton, and Mary C. Barth

Abstract

Aqueous chemical processing within cloud and fog water is thought to be a key process in the production and transformation of secondary organic aerosol mass, found abundantly and ubiquitously throughout the troposphere. Yet, significant uncertainty remains regarding the organic chemical reactions taking place within clouds and the conditions under which those reactions occur, owing to the wide variety of organic compounds and their evolution under highly variable conditions when cycled through clouds. Continuous observations from a fixed remote site like Whiteface Mountain (WFM) in New York State and other mountaintop sites have been used to unravel complex multiphase interactions in the past, particularly the conversion of gas-phase emissions of SO2 to sulfuric acid within cloud droplets in the presence of sunlight. These scientific insights led to successful control strategies that reduced aerosol sulfate and cloud water acidity substantially over the following decades. This paper provides an overview of observations obtained during a pilot study that took place at WFM in August 2017 aimed at obtaining a better understanding of Chemical Processing of Organic Compounds within Clouds (CPOC). During the CPOC pilot study, aerosol cloud activation efficiency, particle size distribution, and chemical composition measurements were obtained below-cloud for comparison to routine observations at WFM, including cloud water composition and reactive trace gases. Additional instruments deployed for the CPOC pilot study included a Doppler lidar, sun photometer, and radiosondes to assist in evaluating the meteorological context for the below-cloud and summit observations.

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Zhichang Guo, Paul A. Dirmeyer, Randal D. Koster, Y. C. Sud, Gordon Bonan, Keith W. Oleson, Edmond Chan, Diana Verseghy, Peter Cox, C. T. Gordon, J. L. McGregor, Shinjiro Kanae, Eva Kowalczyk, David Lawrence, Ping Liu, David Mocko, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Ken Mitchell, Sergey Malyshev, Bryant McAvaney, Taikan Oki, Tomohito Yamada, Andrew Pitman, Christopher M. Taylor, Ratko Vasic, and Yongkang Xue

Abstract

The 12 weather and climate models participating in the Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) show both a wide variation in the strength of land–atmosphere coupling and some intriguing commonalities. In this paper, the causes of variations in coupling strength—both the geographic variations within a given model and the model-to-model differences—are addressed. The ability of soil moisture to affect precipitation is examined in two stages, namely, the ability of the soil moisture to affect evaporation, and the ability of evaporation to affect precipitation. Most of the differences between the models and within a given model are found to be associated with the first stage—an evaporation rate that varies strongly and consistently with soil moisture tends to lead to a higher coupling strength. The first-stage differences reflect identifiable differences in model parameterization and model climate. Intermodel differences in the evaporation–precipitation connection, however, also play a key role.

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