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Multivariable evaluation of land surface processes in forced and coupled modes reveals new error sources to the simulated water cycle in the IPSL (Institute Pierre Simon Laplace) climate model

Abstract : Evaluating land surface models (LSMs) using available observations is important for understanding the potential and limitations of current Earth system models in simulating water- and carbon-related variables. To reveal the error sources of a LSM, five essential climate variables have been evaluated in this paper (i.e., surface soil moisture, evapotranspiration, leaf area index, surface albedo, and precipitation) via simulations with the IPSL (Institute Pierre Simon Laplace) LSM ORCHIDEE (Organizing Carbon and Hydrology in Dynamic Ecosystems) model, particularly focusing on the difference between (i) forced simulations with atmospheric forcing data (WATCH Forcing Data ERA-Interim – WFDEI) and (ii) coupled simulations with the IPSL atmospheric general circulation model. Results from statistical evaluation, using satellite- and ground-based reference data, show that ORCHIDEE is well equipped to represent spatiotemporal patterns of all variables in general. However, further analysis against various landscape and meteorological factors (e.g., plant functional type, slope, precipitation, and irrigation) suggests potential uncertainty relating to freezing and/or snowmelt, temperate plant phenology, irrigation, and contrasted responses between forced and coupled mode simulations. The biases in the simulated variables are amplified in the coupled mode via surface–atmosphere interactions, indicating a strong link between irrigation–precipitation and a relatively complex link between precipitation–evapotranspiration that reflects the hydrometeorological regime of the region (energy limited or water limited) and snow albedo feedback in mountainous and boreal regions. The different results between forced and coupled modes imply the importance of model evaluation under both modes to isolate potential sources of uncertainty in the model.
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Hiroki Mizuochi, Agnès Ducharne, Frédérique Cheruy, Josefine Ghattas, Amen Al-Yaari, et al.. Multivariable evaluation of land surface processes in forced and coupled modes reveals new error sources to the simulated water cycle in the IPSL (Institute Pierre Simon Laplace) climate model. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, European Geosciences Union, 2021, 25 (4), pp.2199-2221. ⟨10.5194/hess-25-2199-2021⟩. ⟨hal-03230500⟩

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