Sensitivity of Simulated Surface Fluxes to Changes in Land Surface Parameterizations-A Study Using ABRACOS Data

Yongkang Xue Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, Calverton, Maryland

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Heidi G. Bastable Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford, United Kingdom

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Paul A. Dirmeyer Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, Calverton, Maryland

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Piers J. Sellers GSFC/NASA, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Abstract

The simplified Simple Biosphere model (SSiB) has been validated using observed meteorological, turbulent flux, and vegetation property data from the Anglo-Brazilian Amazonian Climate Observation Study (ABRACOS) over a forest clearing site. The results show that SSiB is able to simulate the observed fluxes realistically. The differences between the simulated and observed latent and sensible heat fluxes are less than 10 W m−2. Compared to previous deforestation experiments, the new vegetation dataset produces significantly different latent heat fluxes and surface temperatures in off-line and general circulation model (GCM) simulation. Using the new dataset the GCM simulated surface temperature is about 2 K higher, and the simulated latent heat flux is about 25 W m−2 lower than that generated using a previous dataset. These differences can be expected to result in substantially different responses in rainfall and atmosphere circulation. The parameters that are most significant in producing such large differences are leaf area index and soil properties. This study again demonstrates that to realistically assess the climatic impact of land surface degradation a realistic specification of the land surface conditions within GCMs is crucial.

Abstract

The simplified Simple Biosphere model (SSiB) has been validated using observed meteorological, turbulent flux, and vegetation property data from the Anglo-Brazilian Amazonian Climate Observation Study (ABRACOS) over a forest clearing site. The results show that SSiB is able to simulate the observed fluxes realistically. The differences between the simulated and observed latent and sensible heat fluxes are less than 10 W m−2. Compared to previous deforestation experiments, the new vegetation dataset produces significantly different latent heat fluxes and surface temperatures in off-line and general circulation model (GCM) simulation. Using the new dataset the GCM simulated surface temperature is about 2 K higher, and the simulated latent heat flux is about 25 W m−2 lower than that generated using a previous dataset. These differences can be expected to result in substantially different responses in rainfall and atmosphere circulation. The parameters that are most significant in producing such large differences are leaf area index and soil properties. This study again demonstrates that to realistically assess the climatic impact of land surface degradation a realistic specification of the land surface conditions within GCMs is crucial.

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