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Co-ordinator: Eleanor Blyth, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (NERC)
Deputy co-ordinator: Ronald Hutjes, Wageningen University (WUR)
The main objective of Workblock 5 is to provide a global and regional analysis of feedbacks between the land surface and climate system using a fusion of models and data.
This work block will quantify those feedbacks from hydrological processes and the climate system, that are currently not (sufficiently) accounted for in climate models, and that are likely to impact on water cycle components. The feedbacks addressed include soil moisture feedbacks, sub-grid scale processes, feedbacks associated with ecosystem processes, snow and vegetation, and feedbacks associated with anthropogenic modification of land cover and soil moisture (e.g. irrigation).
In essence, it identifies the main process mismatches within the modelling framework of WATCH which result from using hydrological models off-line from the climate models. On the one hand, these off-line impact models generally contain more information about changes to the land surface due to anthropogenic activity than the climate models. On the other, hydrological models do not contain representation of some key vegetation and surface energy balance processes which may affect the global water cycle components.
The work is divided into three work packages:
Figure: The “Koster et al map” indicating the land-atmosphere coupling strength diagnostic for boreal summer (the difference, dimensionless, describing the impact of soil moisture on precipitation), averaged across the 12 models participating in GLACE. (Insets) Areally averaged coupling strengths for the 12 individual models over the outlined, representative hotspot regions. No signal appears in southern South America or at the southern tip of Africa. (image taken from the science paper of Koster et al., 2004 (DOI 10.1126/science.1100217))
Work Performed and Results achieved during Year 2 (February 2008 – 31 January 2009)
Achievements have included: