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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sensitivity of a regional climate model to land surface parameterization schemes for East Asian summer monsoon simulation

  • Author(s): Li, W
  • Guo, W
  • Xue, Y
  • Fu, C
  • Qiu, B
  • et al.

Land surface processes play an important role in the East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) system. Parameterization schemes of land surface processes may cause uncertainties in regional climate model (RCM) studies for the EASM. In this paper, we investigate the sensitivity of a RCM to land surface parameterization (LSP) schemes for long-term simulation of the EASM. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model coupled with four different LSP schemes (Noah-MP, CLM4, Pleim–Xiu and SSiB), hereafter referred to as Sim-Noah, Sim-CLM, Sim-PX and Sim-SSiB respectively, have been applied for 22-summer EASM simulations. The 22-summer averaged spatial distributions and strengths of downscaled large-scale circulation, 2-m temperature and precipitation are comprehensively compared with ERA-Interim reanalysis and dense station observations in China. Results show that the downscaling ability of RCM for the EASM is sensitive to LSP schemes. Furthermore, this study confirms that RCM does add more information to the EASM compared to reanalysis that imposes the lateral boundary conditions (LBC) because it provides 2-m temperature and precipitation that are with higher resolution and more realistic compared to LBC. For 2-m temperature and monsoon precipitation, Sim-PX and Sim-SSiB simulations are more consistent with observation than simulations of Sim-Noah and Sim-CLM. To further explore the physical and dynamic mechanisms behind the RCM sensitivity to LSP schemes, differences in the surface energy budget between simulations of Ens-Noah-CLM (ensemble mean averaging Sim-Noah and Sim-CLM) and Ens-PX-SSiB (ensemble mean averaging Sim-PX and Sim-SSiB) are investigated and their subsequent impacts on the atmospheric circulation are analyzed. It is found that the intensity of simulated sensible heat flux over Asian continent in Ens-Noah-CLM is stronger than that in Ens-PX-SSiB, which induces a higher tropospheric temperature in Ens-Noah-CLM than in Ens-PX-SSiB over land. The adaptive modulation of geopotential height gradients affects wind field (through geostrophic balance) simulation especially at lower levels, which subsequently affects the simulation of large-scale circulation, 2-m temperature and monsoon precipitation as well as RCM’s downscaling ability.

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