Evaluation of soil moisture in CMIP5 simulations over contiguous United States using in situ and satellite observations

Shanshui Yuan, Steven M. Quiring
2016 Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions  
This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of soil moisture simulations in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) extended historical experiment (2003 to 2012). Soil moisture from in situ and satellite sources are used to evaluate CMIP5 simulations in the contiguous United States (CONUS). Both near-surface (0–10 cm) and soil column (0–100 cm) simulations from more than 14 CMIP5 models are evaluated during the warm season (April–September). Multi-model ensemble means and
more » ... nsemble means and the performance of individual models are assessed at a monthly time scale. Our results indicate that CMIP5 models can reproduce the seasonal variability in soil moisture over CONUS. However, the models tend to overestimate the magnitude of both near-surface and soil-column soil moisture in the western U.S. and underestimate it in the eastern U.S. There are large variations in model performance, especially in the near-surface. There are significant regional and inter-model variations in performance. Results of a regional analysis show that in deeper soil layer, the CMIP5 soil moisture simulations tend to be most skillful in the southern U.S. Based on both the satellite-derived and in situ soil moisture, CESM1, CCSM4 and GFDL-ESM2M perform best in the 0–10 cm soil layer and CESM1, CCSM4, GFDL-ESM2M and HadGEM2-ES perform best in the 0–100 cm soil layer.
doi:10.5194/hess-2016-477 fatcat:3i6pu4ifirfm7gweese3sn7pau