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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-12-14
    Description: This paper describes ESM-SnowMIP, an international coordinated modelling effort to evaluate current snow schemes, including snow schemes that are included in Earth system models, in a wide variety of settings against local and global observations. The project aims to identify crucial processes and characteristics that need to be improved in snow models in the context of local- and global-scale modelling. A further objective of ESM-SnowMIP is to better quantify snow-related feedbacks in the Earth system. Although it is not part of the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), ESM-SnowMIP is tightly linked to the CMIP6-endorsed Land Surface, Snow and Soil Moisture Model Intercomparison (LS3MIP).
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2011-03-28
    Description: It is well known that output from climate models cannot be used to force hydrological simulations without some form of preprocessing to remove the existing biases. In principle, statistical bias correction methodologies act on model output so the statistical properties of the corrected data match those of the observations. However, the improvements to the statistical properties of the data are limited to the specific timescale of the fluctuations that are considered. For example, a statistical bias correction methodology for mean daily temperature values might be detrimental to monthly statistics. Also, in applying bias corrections derived from present day to scenario simulations, an assumption is made on the stationarity of the bias over the largest timescales. First, we point out several conditions that have to be fulfilled by model data to make the application of a statistical bias correction meaningful. We then examine the effects of mixing fluctuations on different timescales and suggest an alternative statistical methodology, referred to here as a cascade bias correction method, that eliminates, or greatly reduces, the negative effects.
    Print ISSN: 1027-5606
    Electronic ISSN: 1607-7938
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2012-08-23
    Description: In this study we present the development of the dynamical wetland extent scheme (DWES) and evaluate its skill to represent the global wetland distribution. The DWES is a simple, global scale hydrological scheme that solves the water balance of wetlands and estimates their extent dynamically. The extent depends on the balance of water flows in the wetlands and the slope distribution within the grid cells. In contrast to most models, the DWES is not directly calibrated against wetland extent observations. Instead, wetland affected river discharge data are used to optimise global parameters of the model. The DWES is not a complete hydrological model by itself but implemented into the Max Planck Institute – Hydrology Model (MPI-HM). However, it can be transferred into other models as well. For present climate, the model evaluation reveals a good agreement for the spatial distribution of simulated wetlands compared to different observations on the global scale. The best results are achieved for the Northern Hemisphere where not only the wetland distribution pattern but also their extent is simulated reasonably well by the DWES. However, the wetland fraction in the tropical parts of South America and Central Africa is strongly overestimated. The simulated extent dynamics correlate well with monthly inundation variations obtained from satellites for most locations. Also, the simulated river discharge is affected by wetlands resulting in a delay and mitigation of peak flows. Compared to simulations without wetlands, we find locally increased evaporation and decreased river flow into the oceans due to the implemented wetland processes. In summary, the evaluation demonstrates the DWES' ability to simulate the distribution of wetlands and their seasonal variations for most regions. Thus, the DWES can provide hydrological boundary conditions for wetland related studies. In future applications, the DWES may be implemented into an Earth system model to study feedbacks between wetlands and climate.
    Print ISSN: 1027-5606
    Electronic ISSN: 1607-7938
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2012-11-22
    Description: Many studies have investigated potential climate change impacts on regional hydrology; less attention has been given to the components of uncertainty that affect these scenarios. This study quantifies uncertainties resulting from (i) General Circulation Models (GCMs), (ii) Regional Climate Models (RCMs), (iii) bias-correction of RCMs, and (iv) hydrological model parameterization using a multi-model framework. This consists of three GCMs, three RCMs, three bias-correction techniques, and sets of hydrological model parameters. The study is performed for the Lech watershed (~ 1000 km2), located in the Northern Limestone Alps, Austria. Bias-corrected climate data are used to drive the hydrological model HQsim to simulate runoff under present (1971–2000) and future (2070–2099) climate conditions. Hydrological model parameter uncertainty is assessed by Monte Carlo sampling. The model chain is found to perform well under present climate conditions. However, hydrological projections are associated with high uncertainty, mainly due to the choice of GCM and RCM. Uncertainty due to bias-correction is found to have greatest influence on projections of extreme river flows, and the choice of method(s) is an important consideration in snowmelt systems. Overall, hydrological model parameterization is least important. The study also demonstrates how an improved understanding of the physical processes governing future river flows can help focus attention on the scientifically tractable elements of the uncertainty.
    Print ISSN: 1027-5606
    Electronic ISSN: 1607-7938
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2013-09-13
    Description: Soil moisture is an essential climate variable (ECV) of major importance for land–atmosphere interactions and global hydrology. An appropriate representation of soil moisture dynamics in global climate models is therefore important. Recently, a first multidecadal, observation-based soil moisture dataset has become available that provides information on soil moisture dynamics from satellite observations (ECVSM, essential climate variable soil moisture). The present study investigates the potential and limitations of this new dataset for several applications in climate model evaluation. We compare soil moisture data from satellite observations, reanalysis and simulations from a state-of-the-art land surface model and analyze relationships between soil moisture and precipitation anomalies in the different dataset. Other potential applications like model parameter optimization or model initialization are not investigated in the present study. In a detailed regional study, we show that ECVSM is capable to capture well the interannual and intraannual soil moisture and precipitation dynamics in the Sahelian region. Current deficits of the new dataset are critically discussed and summarized at the end of the paper to provide guidance for an appropriate usage of the ECVSM dataset for climate studies.
    Print ISSN: 1027-5606
    Electronic ISSN: 1607-7938
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2016-01-18
    Description: Droughts can have an impact on forest functioning and production, and even lead to tree mortality. However, drought is an elusive phenomenon that is difficult to quantify and define universally. In this study, we assessed the performance of a set of indicators that have been used to describe drought conditions in the summer months (June, July, August) over a 30-year period (1981–2010) in Finland. Those indicators include the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), the Standardized Precipitation–Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), the Soil Moisture Index (SMI), and the Soil Moisture Anomaly (SMA). Herein, regional soil moisture was produced by the land surface model JSBACH of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Earth System Model (MPI-ESM). Results show that the buffering effect of soil moisture and the associated soil moisture memory can impact on the onset and duration of drought as indicated by the SMI and SMA, while the SPI and SPEI are directly controlled by meteorological conditions. In particular, we investigated whether the SMI, SMA and SPEI are able to indicate the Extreme Drought affecting Forest health (EDF), which we defined according to the extreme drought that caused severe forest damages in Finland in 2006. The EDF thresholds for the aforementioned indicators are suggested, based on the reported statistics of forest damages in Finland in 2006. SMI was found to be the best indicator in capturing the spatial extent of forest damage induced by the extreme drought in 2006. In addition, through the application of the EDF thresholds over the summer months of the 30-year study period, the SPEI and SMA tended to show more frequent EDF events and a higher fraction of influenced area than SMI. This is because the SPEI and SMA are standardized indicators that show the degree of anomalies from statistical means over the aggregation period of climate conditions and soil moisture, respectively. However, in boreal forests in Finland, the high initial soil moisture or existence of peat often prevent the EDFs indicated by the SPEI and SMA to produce very low soil moisture that could be indicated as EDFs by the SMI. Therefore, we consider SMI is more appropriate for indicating EDFs in boreal forests. The selected EDF thresholds for those indicators could be calibrated when there are more forest health observation data available. Furthermore, in the context of future climate scenarios, assessments of EDF risks in northern areas should, in addition to climate data, rely on a land surface model capable of reliable prediction of soil moisture.
    Print ISSN: 1027-5606
    Electronic ISSN: 1607-7938
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2010-10-08
    Description: It is well known that output from climate models cannot be used to force hydrological simulations without some form of preprocessing to remove the existing biases. In principle, statistical bias correction methodologies act on model output so the statistical properties of the corrected data match those of the observations. However the improvements to the statistical properties of the data are limited to the specific time scale of the fluctuations that are considered. For example, a statistical bias correction methodology for mean daily values might be detrimental to monthly statistics. Also, in applying bias corrections derived from present day to scenario simulations, an assumption is made of persistence of the bias over the largest timescales. We examine the effects of mixing fluctuations on different time scales and suggest an improved statistical methodology, referred to here as a cascade bias correction method, that eliminates, or greatly reduces, the negative effects.
    Print ISSN: 1812-2108
    Electronic ISSN: 1812-2116
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2011-08-22
    Description: Due to biases in the output of climate models, a bias correction is often needed to make the output suitable for use in hydrological simulations. In most cases only the temperature and precipitation values are bias corrected. However, often there are also biases in other variables such as radiation, humidity and wind speed. In this study we tested to what extent it is also needed to bias correct these variables. Responses to radiation, humidity and wind estimates from two climate models for four large-scale hydrological models are analysed. For the period 1971–2000 these hydrological simulations are compared to simulations using meteorological data based on observations and reanalysis; i.e. the baseline simulation. In both forcing datasets originating from climate models precipitation and temperature are bias corrected to the baseline forcing dataset. Hence, it is only effects of radiation, humidity and wind estimates that are tested here. The direct use of climate model outputs result in substantial different evapotranspiration and runoff estimates, when compared to the baseline simulations. A simple bias correction method is implemented and tested by rerunning the hydrological models using bias corrected radiation, humidity and wind values. The results indicate that bias correction can successfully be used to match the baseline simulations. Finally, historical (1971–2000) and future (2071–2100) model simulations resulting from using bias corrected forcings are compared to the results using non-bias corrected forcings. The relative changes in simulated evapotranspiration and runoff are relatively similar for the bias corrected and non bias corrected hydrological projections, although the absolute evapotranspiration and runoff numbers are often very different. The simulated relative and absolute differences when using bias corrected and non bias corrected climate model radiation, humidity and wind values are, however, smaller than literature reported differences resulting from using bias corrected and non bias corrected climate model precipitation and temperature values.
    Print ISSN: 1812-2108
    Electronic ISSN: 1812-2116
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2012-07-04
    Description: Many studies have investigated potential climate change impacts on regional hydrology; less attention has been given to the components of uncertainty that affect these scenarios. This study quantifies uncertainties resulting from (i) General Circulation Models (GCMs), (ii) Regional Climate Models (RCMs), (iii) bias-correction of RCMs, and (iv) hydrological model parameterization using a multi model framework. This consists of three GCMs, three RCMs, three bias-correction techniques, and sets of hydrological model parameters. The study is performed for the Lech watershed (~1000 km2), located in the Northern Limestone Alps, Austria. Bias-corrected climate data are used to drive the hydrological model HQsim to simulate runoff under present (1971–2000) and future (2070–2099) climate conditions. Hydrological model parameter uncertainty is assessed by Monte Carlo sampling. The model chain is found to perform well under present climate conditions. However, hydrological projections are associated with large uncertainty, mainly due to the choice of GCM and RCM. Uncertainty due to bias-correction is found to have greatest influence on projections of extreme river flows and the choice of method(s) is an important consideration in snowmelt systems. Overall, hydrological model parameterization is least important. The study also demonstrates how an improved understanding of the physical processes governing future river flows can help focus attention on the scientifically tractable elements of the uncertainty.
    Print ISSN: 1812-2108
    Electronic ISSN: 1812-2116
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2012-01-10
    Description: In this study we present the development of the dynamical wetland extent scheme (DWES) and its validation against present day wetland observations. The DWES is a simple, global scale hydrological scheme that solves the water balance of wetlands and estimates their extent dynamically. The extent depends on the balance of water flows in the wetlands and the slope distribution within the grid cells. In contrast to most models, the DWES is not directly calibrated against wetland extent observations. Instead, wetland affected river discharge data are used to optimize global parameters of the model. The DWES is not a complete hydrological model by itself but implemented into the Max Planck Institute – Hydrology Model (MPI-HM). However, it can be transferred into other models as well. For present climate, the model validation reveals a good agreement between the occurrence of simulated and observed wetlands on the global scale. The best result is achieved for the northern hemisphere where not only the wetland distribution pattern but also their extent is simulated reasonably well by the DWES. However, the wetland fraction in the tropical parts of South America and Central Africa is strongly overestimated. The simulated extent dynamics correlate well with monthly inundation variations obtained from satellite for most locations. Also, the simulated river discharge is affected by wetlands resulting in a delay and mitigation of peak flows. Compared to simulations without wetlands, we find locally increased evaporation and decreased river flow into the oceans due to the implemented wetland processes. In summary, the validation analysis demonstrates the DWES' ability to simulate the global distribution of wetlands and their seasonal variations. Thus, the dynamical wetland extent scheme can provide hydrological boundary conditions for wetland related studies. In future applications, the DWES should be implemented into an earth system model to study feedbacks between wetlands and climate.
    Print ISSN: 1812-2108
    Electronic ISSN: 1812-2116
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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