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Multimodel estimate of the global terrestrial water balance: setup and first results

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Haddeland, I., Clark, D. B., Franssen, W., Ludwig, F., Voß, F., Arnell, N. W., Bertrand, N., Best, M., Folwell, S., Kabat, P., Koirala, S., Oki, T., Polcher, J., Stacke, T., Viterbo, P., Weedon, G. P. , Yehm, P., Gerten, D., Gomes, S., Gosling, S. N. , Hagemann, S., Hanasaki, N., Harding, R. and Heinke, J. (2011) Multimodel estimate of the global terrestrial water balance: setup and first results. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 12 (5). pp. 869-884. ISSN 1525-7541

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/2011JHM1324.1

Abstract/Summary

Six land surface models and five global hydrological models participate in a model intercomparison project (WaterMIP), which for the first time compares simulation results of these different classes of models in a consistent way. In this paper the simulation setup is described and aspects of the multi-model global terrestrial water balance are presented. All models were run at 0.5 degree spatial resolution for the global land areas for a 15-year period (1985-1999) using a newly-developed global meteorological dataset. Simulated global terrestrial evapotranspiration, excluding Greenland and Antarctica, ranges from 415 to 586 mm year-1 (60,000 to 85,000 km3 year-1) and simulated runoff ranges from 290 to 457 mm year-1 (42,000 to 66,000 km3 year-1). Both the mean and median runoff fractions for the land surface models are lower than those of the global hydrological models, although the range is wider. Significant simulation differences between land surface and global hydrological models are found to be caused by the snow scheme employed. The physically-based energy balance approach used by land surface models generally results in lower snow water equivalent values than the conceptual degree-day approach used by global hydrological models. Some differences in simulated runoff and evapotranspiration are explained by model parameterizations, although the processes included and parameterizations used are not distinct to either land surface models or global hydrological models. The results show that differences between model are major sources of uncertainty. Climate change impact studies thus need to use not only multiple climate models, but also some other measure of uncertainty, (e.g. multiple impact models).

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute for Climate System Research
ID Code:24011
Uncontrolled Keywords:Water budget, Land surface model, Hydrologic models
Publisher:American Meteorological Society
Publisher Statement:© Copyright 2011 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyright@ametsoc.org.

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