The effects of observed fractional vegetation cover on the land surface climatology of the community land model

Michael Barlage, Xubin Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Accurate modeling of surface processes requires a specification of the amount of land covered by vegetation. The National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Land Model (CLM2) does not realistically represent sparsely vegetated regions because of a lack of bare soil in the model. In this study, the existing CLM2 surface dataset is replaced by a global 1-km fractional vegetation cover dataset. This results in a doubling of global bare soil fraction in the model. It also significantly affects the fractional coverages of shrub, grass, and crop compared with only minor changes to trees. Regional changes occur most greatly in Australia, with an increase of over 0.4 in bare soil fraction. The western United States, southern South America, and southern Africa show fractional increases of more than 0.2. Simulations of CLM2 coupled with the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM2) show several regions with statistically significant decreases of up to 2 K in 2-m air temperature and up to 10 K in ground temperature, which reduces the high temperature bias in arid and semiarid regions in the model. In Australia, the vegetation changes result in an increase in net downward longwave radiation, which is balanced by an increase of latent and sensible heat fluxes and a decrease of absorbed solar radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-830
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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