The Role of Land Surface in Regional Climate Modeling, Ruby Leung (PNNL)

Start Date/Time: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 3:30 PM
Ending Date/Time: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 5:20 PM
Location: UW More Hall (MOR), Room 220


Speaker: Dr. Ruby Leung, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Topic: Recent Developments Regional Climate Modeling: The Role of the Land Surface

Improving the representations of land-atmosphere interactions is important to correctly simulate the regional and global water cycle. The southwestern US is projected to experience more intense and prolonged drought conditions in the future due to global warming.

To improve our ability to predict droughts, the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) and Community Land Model (CLM) land surface models are being extended to include several components that are important for simulating surface and subsurface processes in semi-arid regions. These include representing hydraulic redistribution and groundwater table dynamics, and comparing the hydrologic representations in VIC and CLM. Both VIC and CLM have been coupled to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Numerical experiments will be performed to quantify the role of atmosphere-biosphere feedbacks on droughts.

As part of our efforts to develop global and regional integrated earth system models to represent the interactions between the human and earth systems, we are extending CLM to include water use, including irrigation and water management. In addition, a distributed extension of CLM is being developed to enable a consistent framework for modeling land surface and hydrologic processes across global, regional, and local scales. I will discuss the motivation and approach for these projects and show some preliminary results.