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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Use of midlatitude soil moisture and meteorological observations to validate soil moisture simulations with biosphere and bucket models

  • Author(s): Robock, A
  • Vinnikov, KY
  • Schlosser, CA
  • Speranskaya, NA
  • Yongkang Xue
  • et al.

Some early and current general circulation models (GCMs) use bucket models for soil hydrology calculations. More recently, the Simple Biosphere Model (SiB) was developed to incorporate the effects of vegetation on fluxes of moisture, momentum, and energy at the earth's surface into soil hydrology models. In this study, a Simplified SiB (SSiB) soil hydrology model and a 15-cm bucket model are forced by observed meteorological and actinometric data every 3 h for 6-yr simulations at the six stations. The model calculations of soil moisture are compared to observations of soil moisture, literally "ground truth', snow cover, surface albedo, and net radiation, and with each other. While producing similar soil moisture simulations, the models produce very different surface latent and sensible heat fluxes, which would have large effects on GCM simulations. -from Authors

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