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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 7, issue 3
Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1093–1114, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1093–1114, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Model experiment description paper 06 Jun 2014

Model experiment description paper | 06 Jun 2014

Interactive coupling of regional atmosphere with biosphere in the new generation regional climate system model REMO-iMOVE

C. Wilhelm1,2,*, D. Rechid1,2, and D. Jacob1,2 C. Wilhelm et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstrasse 56, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 2Climate Service Center (CSC), Chilehaus, Fischertwiete 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
  • *now in private sector

Abstract. The main objective of this study is the coupling of the regional climate model REMO with a new land surface scheme including dynamic vegetation phenology, and the evaluation of the new model version called REMO with interactive MOsaic-based VEgetation: REMO-iMOVE.

First, we focus on the documentation of the technical aspects of the new model constituents and the coupling mechanism. The representation of vegetation in iMOVE is based on plant functional types (PFTs). Their geographical distribution is prescribed to the model which can be derived from different land surface data sets. Here, the PFT distribution is derived from the GLOBCOVER 2000 data set which is available on 1 km × 1 km horizontal resolution. Plant physiological processes like photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration are incorporated into the model. The vegetation modules are fully coupled to atmosphere and soil. In this way, plant physiological activity is directly driven by atmospheric and soil conditions at the model time step (two minutes to some seconds). In turn, the vegetation processes and properties influence the exchange of substances, energy and momentum between land and atmosphere. With the new coupled regional model system, dynamic feedbacks between vegetation, soil and atmosphere are represented at regional to local scale.

In the evaluation part, we compare simulation results of REMO-iMOVE and of the reference version REMO2009 to multiple observation data sets of temperature, precipitation, latent heat flux, leaf area index and net primary production, in order to investigate the sensitivity of the regional model to the new land surface scheme and to evaluate the performance of both model versions. Simulations for the regional model domain Europe on a horizontal resolution of 0.44° had been carried out for the time period 1995–2005, forced with ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalyses data as lateral boundary conditions.

REMO-iMOVE is able to simulate the European climate with the same quality as the parent model REMO2009. Differences in near-surface climate parameters can be restricted to some regions and are mainly related to the new representation of vegetation phenology. The seasonal and interannual variations in growth and senescence of vegetation are captured by the model. The net primary productivity lies in the range of observed values for most European regions. This study reveals the need for implementing vertical soil water dynamics in order to differentiate the access of plants to water due to different rooting depths. This gets especially important if the model will be used in dynamic vegetation studies.

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