Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 13 items for

  • Author or Editor: Keith W. Oleson x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Keith W. Oleson and Gordon B. Bonan

Abstract

The land surface models used with atmospheric models typically characterize landscapes in terms of generalized biome types. However, the advent of high–spatial resolution satellite-derived data products such as land cover and leaf area index (LAI) allow for more accurate specification of landscape patterns. In this paper, the authors report on the use of 1-km land-cover [converted to plant functional type (PFT)] and LAI datasets developed from the Boreal Ecosystem–Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) to develop and to test a methodology for incorporating satellite data into the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) land surface model. In this approach, the landscape is composed of patches of PFTs, each with its own LAI, rather than as biomes. Large differences in PFT fractional cover between the remotely sensed and standard model representations were found for the BOREAS region. Changes in the needleleaf evergreen PFT fraction were the most extensive both in terms of spatial distribution and magnitude (up to ±40%). Large differences in LAI were also found (up to ±3 m2 m−2). Although the response of the model to these differences was somewhat small in terms of regionally averaged changes in surface fluxes, the spatial variability of the model response was substantial. The PFT and LAI data were generally of equal importance in modifying the surface fluxes and were most useful for improving the description of spatial variability due to mixtures of recently burned, regrowth, and mature-growth areas.

Full access
Taotao Qian, Aiguo Dai, Kevin E. Trenberth, and Keith W. Oleson

Abstract

Because of a lack of observations, historical simulations of land surface conditions using land surface models are needed for studying variability and changes in the continental water cycle and for providing initial conditions for seasonal climate predictions. Atmospheric forcing datasets are also needed for land surface model development. The quality of atmospheric forcing data greatly affects the ability of land surface models to realistically simulate land surface conditions. Here a carefully constructed global forcing dataset for 1948–2004 with 3-hourly and T62 (∼1.875°) resolution is described, and historical simulations using the latest version of the Community Land Model version 3.0 (CLM3) are evaluated using available observations of streamflow, continental freshwater discharge, surface runoff, and soil moisture. The forcing dataset was derived by combining observation-based analyses of monthly precipitation and surface air temperature with intramonthly variations from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) reanalysis, which is shown to have spurious trends and biases in surface temperature and precipitation. Surface downward solar radiation from the reanalysis was first adjusted for variations and trends using monthly station records of cloud cover anomaly and then for mean biases using satellite observations during recent decades. Surface specific humidity from the reanalysis was adjusted using the adjusted surface air temperature and reanalysis relative humidity. Surface wind speed and air pressure were interpolated directly from the 6-hourly reanalysis data. Sensitivity experiments show that the precipitation adjustment (to the reanalysis data) leads to the largest improvement, while the temperature and radiation adjustments have only small effects.

When forced by this dataset, the CLM3 reproduces many aspects of the long-term mean, annual cycle, interannual and decadal variations, and trends of streamflow for many large rivers (e.g., the Orinoco, Changjiang, Mississippi, etc.), although substantial biases exist. The simulated long-term-mean freshwater discharge into the global and individual oceans is comparable to 921 river-based observational estimates. Observed soil moisture variations over Illinois and parts of Eurasia are generally simulated well, with the dominant influence coming from precipitation. The results suggest that the CLM3 simulations are useful for climate change analysis. It is also shown that unrealistically low intensity and high frequency of precipitation, as in most model-simulated precipitation or observed time-averaged fields, result in too much evaporation and too little runoff, which leads to lower than observed river flows. This problem can be reduced by adjusting the precipitation rates using observed-precipitation frequency maps.

Full access
James J. Hack, Julie M. Caron, G. Danabasoglu, Keith W. Oleson, Cecilia Bitz, and John E. Truesdale

Abstract

The latest version of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3) has been released to allow for numerical integration at a variety of horizontal resolutions. One goal of the CAM3 design was to provide comparable large-scale simulation fidelity over a range of horizontal resolutions through modifications to adjustable coefficients in the parameterized treatment of clouds and precipitation. Coefficients are modified to provide similar cloud radiative forcing characteristics for each resolution. Simulations with the CAM3 show robust systematic improvements with higher horizontal resolution for a variety of features, most notably associated with the large-scale dynamical circulation. This paper will focus on simulation differences between the two principal configurations of the CAM3, which differ by a factor of 2 in their horizontal resolution.

Full access
David M. Lawrence, Peter E. Thornton, Keith W. Oleson, and Gordon B. Bonan

Abstract

Although the global partitioning of evapotranspiration (ET) into transpiration, soil evaporation, and canopy evaporation is not well known, most current land surface schemes and the few available observations indicate that transpiration is the dominant component on the global scale, followed by soil evaporation and canopy evaporation. The Community Land Model version 3 (CLM3), however, does not reflect this global view of ET partitioning, with soil evaporation and canopy evaporation far outweighing transpiration. One consequence of this unrealistic ET partitioning in CLM3 is that photosynthesis, which is linked to transpiration through stomatal conductance, is significantly underestimated on a global basis. A number of modifications to CLM3 vegetation and soil hydrology parameterizations are described that improve ET partitioning and reduce an apparent dry soil bias in CLM3. The modifications reduce canopy interception and evaporation, reduce soil moisture stress on transpiration, increase transpiration through a more realistic canopy integration scheme, reduce within-canopy soil evaporation, eliminate lateral drainage of soil water, increase infiltration of water into the soil, and increase the vertical redistribution of soil water. The partitioning of ET is improved, with notable increases seen in transpiration (13%–41% of global ET) and photosynthesis (65–148 Pg C yr−1). Soils are wetter and exhibit a far more distinct soil moisture annual cycle and greater interseasonal soil water storage, which permits plants to sustain transpiration through the dry season.

The broader influences of improved ET partitioning on land–atmosphere interaction are diverse. Stronger transpiration and reduced canopy evaporation yield an extended ET response to rain events and a shift in the precipitation distribution toward more frequent small- to medium-size rain events. Soil moisture memory time scales decrease particularly at deeper soil levels. Subsurface soil moisture exerts a slightly greater influence on precipitation. These results indicate that partitioning of ET is an important responsibility for land surface schemes, a responsibility that will gain in relevance as GCMs evolve to incorporate ever more complex treatments of the earth’s carbon and hydrologic cycles.

Full access
Robert E. Dickinson, Keith W. Oleson, Gordon Bonan, Forrest Hoffman, Peter Thornton, Mariana Vertenstein, Zong-Liang Yang, and Xubin Zeng

Abstract

Several multidecadal simulations have been carried out with the new version of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM). This paper reports an analysis of the land component of these simulations. Global annual averages over land appear to be within the uncertainty of observational datasets, but the seasonal cycle over land of temperature and precipitation appears to be too weak. These departures from observations appear to be primarily a consequence of deficiencies in the simulation of the atmospheric model rather than of the land processes. High latitudes of northern winter are biased sufficiently warm to have a significant impact on the simulated value of global land temperature. The precipitation is approximately doubled from what it should be at some locations, and the snowpack and spring runoff are also excessive. The winter precipitation over Tibet is larger than observed. About two-thirds of this precipitation is sublimated during the winter, but what remains still produces a snowpack that is very large compared to that observed with correspondingly excessive spring runoff. A large cold anomaly over the Sahara Desert and Sahel also appears to be a consequence of a large anomaly in downward longwave radiation; low column water vapor appears to be most responsible. The modeled precipitation over the Amazon basin is low compared to that observed, the soil becomes too dry, and the temperature is too warm during the dry season.

Full access
Gordon B. Bonan, Keith W. Oleson, Mariana Vertenstein, Samuel Levis, Xubin Zeng, Yongjiu Dai, Robert E. Dickinson, and Zong-Liang Yang

Abstract

The land surface parameterization used with the community climate model (CCM3) and the climate system model (CSM1), the National Center for Atmospheric Research land surface model (NCAR LSM1), has been modified as part of the development of the next version of these climate models. This new model is known as the community land model (CLM2). In CLM2, the surface is represented by five primary subgrid land cover types (glacier, lake, wetland, urban, vegetated) in each grid cell. The vegetated portion of a grid cell is further divided into patches of up to 4 of 16 plant functional types, each with its own leaf and stem area index and canopy height. The relative area of each subgrid unit, the plant functional type, and leaf area index are obtained from 1-km satellite data. The soil texture dataset allows vertical profiles of sand and clay. Most of the physical parameterizations in the model were also updated. Major model differences include: 10 layers for soil temperature and soil water with explicit treatment of liquid water and ice; a multilayer snowpack; runoff based on the TOPMODEL concept; new formulation of ground and vegetation fluxes; and vertical root profiles from a global synthesis of ecological studies. Simulations with CCM3 show significant improvements in surface air temperature, snow cover, and runoff for CLM2 compared to LSM1. CLM2 generally warms surface air temperature in all seasons compared to LSM1, reducing or eliminating many cold biases. Annual precipitation over land is reduced from 2.35 mm day−1 in LSM1 to 2.14 mm day−1 in CLM2. The hydrologic cycle is also different. Transpiration and ground evaporation are reduced. Leaves and stems evaporate more intercepted water annually in CLM2 than LSM1. Global runoff from land increases from 0.75 mm day−1 in LSM1 to 0.84 mm day−1 in CLM2. The annual cycle of runoff is greatly improved in CLM2, especially in arctic and boreal regions where the model has low runoff in cold seasons when the soil is frozen and high runoff during the snowmelt season. Most of the differences between CLM2 and LSM1 are attributed to particular parameterizations rather than to different surface datasets. Important processes include: multilayer snow, frozen water, interception, soil water limitation to latent heat, and higher aerodynamic resistances to heat exchange from ground.

Full access
David M. Lawrence, Keith W. Oleson, Mark G. Flanner, Christopher G. Fletcher, Peter J. Lawrence, Samuel Levis, Sean C. Swenson, and Gordon B. Bonan

Abstract

This paper reviews developments for the Community Land Model, version 4 (CLM4), examines the land surface climate simulation of the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4) compared to CCSM3, and assesses new earth system features of CLM4 within CCSM4. CLM4 incorporates a broad set of improvements including additions of a carbon–nitrogen (CN) biogeochemical model, an urban canyon model, and transient land cover and land use change, as well as revised soil and snow submodels.

Several aspects of the surface climate simulation are improved in CCSM4. Improvements in the simulation of soil water storage, evapotranspiration, surface albedo, and permafrost that are apparent in offline CLM4 simulations are generally retained in CCSM4. The global land air temperature bias is reduced and the annual cycle is improved in many locations, especially at high latitudes. The global land precipitation bias is larger in CCSM4 because of bigger wet biases in central and southern Africa and Australia.

New earth system capabilities are assessed. The present-day air temperature within urban areas is warmer than surrounding rural areas by 1°–2°C, which is comparable to or greater than the change in climate occurring over the last 130 years. The snow albedo feedback is more realistic and the radiative forcing of snow aerosol deposition is calculated as +0.083 W m−2 for present day. The land carbon flux due to land use, wildfire, and net ecosystem production is a source of carbon to the atmosphere throughout most of the historical simulation. CCSM4 is increasingly suited for studies of the role of land processes in climate and climate change.

Full access
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.

Full access
James J. Hack, Julie M. Caron, Stephen G. Yeager, Keith W. Oleson, Marika M. Holland, John E. Truesdale, and Philip J. Rasch

Abstract

The seasonal and annual climatological behavior of selected components of the hydrological cycle are presented from coupled and uncoupled configurations of the atmospheric component of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3). The formulations of processes that play a role in the hydrological cycle are significantly more complex when compared with earlier versions of the atmospheric model. Major features of the simulated hydrological cycle are compared against available observational data, and the strengths and weaknesses are discussed in the context of specified sea surface temperature and fully coupled model simulations.

The magnitude of the CAM3 hydrological cycle is weaker than in earlier versions of the model, and is more consistent with observational estimates. Major features of the exchange of water with the surface, and the vertically integrated storage of water in the atmosphere, are generally well captured on seasonal and longer time scales. The water cycle response to ENSO events is also very realistic. The simulation, however, continues to exhibit a number of long-standing biases, such as a tendency to produce double ITCZ-like structures in the deep Tropics, and to overestimate precipitation rates poleward of the extratropical storm tracks. The lower-tropospheric dry bias, associated with the parameterized treatment of convection, also remains a simulation deficiency. Several of these biases are exacerbated when the atmosphere is coupled to fully interactive surface models, although the larger-scale behavior of the hydrological cycle remains nearly identical to simulations with prescribed distributions of sea surface temperature and sea ice.

Full access
Peter J. Lawrence, Johannes J. Feddema, Gordon B. Bonan, Gerald A. Meehl, Brian C. O’Neill, Keith W. Oleson, Samuel Levis, David M. Lawrence, Erik Kluzek, Keith Lindsay, and Peter E. Thornton

Abstract

To assess the climate impacts of historical and projected land cover change in the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4), new time series of transient Community Land Model, version 4 (CLM4) plant functional type (PFT) and wood harvest parameters have been developed. The new parameters capture the dynamics of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) land cover change and wood harvest trajectories for the historical period from 1850 to 2005 and for the four representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios from 2006 to 2100. Analysis of the biogeochemical impacts of land cover change in CCSM4 reveals that the model produced a historical cumulative land use flux of 127.7 PgC from 1850 to 2005, which is in general agreement with other global estimates of 156 PgC for the same period. The biogeophysical impacts of the transient land cover change parameters were cooling of the near-surface atmosphere over land by −0.1°C, through increased surface albedo and reduced shortwave radiation absorption. When combined with other transient climate forcings, the higher albedo from land cover change was counteracted by decreasing snow albedo from black carbon deposition and high-latitude warming. The future CCSM4 RCP simulations showed that the CLM4 transient PFT parameters can be used to represent a wide range of land cover change scenarios. In the reforestation scenario of RCP 4.5, CCSM4 simulated a drawdown of 67.3 PgC from the atmosphere into the terrestrial ecosystem and product pools. By contrast the RCP 8.5 scenario with deforestation and high wood harvest resulted in the release of 30.3 PgC currently stored in the ecosystem.

Full access