Explicit representation of subgrid heterogeneity in a GCM land-surface scheme

C. Taylor, P. Cox, R. Betts, Richard Essery, M. Best

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A land surface scheme that may be run with or without a tiled representation of subgrid heterogeneity and includes an implicit atmospheric coupling scheme is described. Simulated average surface air temperatures and diurnal temperature ranges in a GCM using this surface model are compared with climatology. Surface tiling is not found to give a clear improvement in the simulated climate but offers more flexibility in the representation of heterogeneous land surface processes. Using the same meteorological forcing in offline simulations using versions of the surface model with and without tiling, the tiled model gives slightly lower winter temperatures at high latitudes and higher summer temperatures at midlatitudes. When the surface model is coupled to a GCM, reduced evaporation in the tiled version leads to changes in cloud cover and radiation at the surface that enhance these differences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-543
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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