Evaluation of Regional-Scale Soil Moisture-Surface Flux Dynamics in Earth System Models Based on Satellite Observations of Land Surface Temperature

Journal ar
Geophysical Research Letters
  • Volumen: 46
  • Número: 10
  • Fecha: 28 May 2019
  • Páginas: 5480-5488
  • ISSN: 19448007 00948276
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019GL082962
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
©2019. The Authors.There is a lack of high-quality global observations to evaluate soil drying impacts on surface fluxes in Earth system models (ESMs). Here we use a novel diagnostic based on the observed warming of the land relative to the atmosphere during dry spells (relative warming rate, RWR) to assess ESMs. The ESMs show that RWR is well correlated with changes in the partition of surface energy between sensible and latent heat across dry spells. Therefore, comparisons between observed and simulated RWR reveal where models are unable to capture a realistic soil moisture-heat flux relationship. The results show that in general, models simulate dry spell ET dynamics well in arid zones while decreases in evaporative fraction appear excessive in some models in continental climate zones. Our approach can help guide land model development in aspects that are key in simulating extreme events like heat waves.

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