Summer Land–Atmosphere Coupling Strength in the United States: Comparison among Observations, Reanalysis Data, and Numerical Models

Rui Mei, Guiling Wang
2012 Journal of Hydrometeorology  
This study examines the land-atmosphere coupling strength during summer over subregions of the United States based on observations [Climate Prediction Center (CPC)-Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC)], reanalysis data [North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) and NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR)], and models [Community Atmosphere Model, version 3 (CAM3)-Community Land Model, version 3 (CLM3) and CAM4-CLM4]. The probability density function of conditioned correlation between soil
more » ... lation between soil moisture and subsequent precipitation or surface temperature during the years of large precipitation anomalies is used as a measure for the coupling strength. There are three major findings: 1) among the eight subregions (classified by land cover types), the transition zone Great Plains (and, to a lesser extent, the Midwest and Southeast) are identified as hot spots for strong land-atmosphere coupling; 2) soil moistureprecipitation coupling is weaker than soil moisture-surface temperature coupling; and 3) the coupling strength is stronger in observational and reanalysis products than in the models examined, especially in CAM4-CLM4. The conditioned correlation analysis also indicates that the coupling strength in CAM4-CLM4 is weaker than in CAM3-CLM3, which is further supported by Global Land-Atmosphere Coupling Experiments1 (GLACE1)-type experiments and attributed to changes in CAM rather than modifications in CLM. Contrary to suggestions in previous studies, CAM-CLM models do not seem to overestimate the landatmosphere coupling strength.
doi:10.1175/jhm-d-11-075.1 fatcat:f42xw77flbfy7ai3w5ua25pr5m