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Report of the CSM Land Working Group Meeting

Gordon Bonan and Robert Dickinson, Co-Chairs

23 June 1998

The Village at Breckenridge


The CSM Land Working Group meeting consisted of two parts. In the first part, several speakers gave 15-20 minute follow-up presentations regarding issues raised in the February, 1998 CSM Land Working Group meeting held in Boulder. There are two active projects related to surface hydrology. During the Monday, 22 June 1998, session of the CSM Workshop, Jay Famiglietti (University of Texas) spoke on his work to implement a river routing scheme for CSM. Mike Coe (University of Wisconsin) gave a presentation on his hydrologic model, which emphasizes storage of water in lakes, wetlands, and reservoirs. Jon Foley (University of Wisconsin) gave an update on his project to include the IBIS dynamic ecosystem model in CSM. He also reported on this work during the CSM Biogeochemistry Working Group meeting. This work was unknown to some NCAR members of the CSM Biogeochemistry Working Group, which speaks to the need for better communication among working groups. Amanda Lynch (University of Colorado) could not be present, but Gordon Bonan (NCAR) gave a brief report on her and Terry Chapin's (University of Alaska) NSF ATLAS (land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic) project to measure surface energy fluxes and supporting ecological and hydrological data for tundra ecosystems in Alaska. Zong-Liang Yang (University of Arizona) spoke on his work to aggregate fine-scale surface heterogeneity to the general circulation model (GCM) scale.

In the second phase, Xubin Zeng (University of Arizona) gave an update on the status of the Common Land Model, which Yong-Jiu Dai (University of Arizona) is developing with guidance from him and other members of the steering committee. There was an extended discussion of the specifications for the model, notably on canopy radiative transfer, followed by agreement and an ambitious time schedule for a prototype model by early 1999.

This was followed by a discussion of the need for a more cohesive land modeling group at NCAR to maintain the Common Land Model and provide support to the user community. The members of the steering committee for the Common Land Model (Bonan, Dickinson, Dirmeyer (COLA), Houser (NASA/DAO), Zeng, Famiglietti, Foley) all agreed that there is a need for such an effort and that an interagency proposal is the most likely means to obtain the necessary funding.

Priorities for the CSM Land Working Group are:

1. Get a prototype Common Land Model by the next workshop and show improvements to the climate simulation.

2. Enhance NCAR infrastructure by hiring a NSF-funded associate scientist to support land surface modeling and develop the multi-agency proposal to provide two more support people and one postdoctoral visitor. The most pressing needs for such a staff are to allow the CSM land model to participate in national and international modeling intercomparisons and to facilitate interaction with collaborating activities at other institutions.

3. Assess the role of high resolution on land climate -- a continuation of Dickinson's earlier work with the Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3). The land community needs to assess these earlier simulations. An extended high-resolution simulation needs to be performed with the latest version of CSM.

4. Begin a sub-project on land use change as it affects climate. This activity would tie into the climate of the 19th and 20th Century projects.

5. Enhance surface hydrology by (a) adding a realistic river routing scheme and (b) improving water storage capability in the model by including lakes, wetlands, and dams.

6. Other group activities are related to improving sub-modules within land surface models and, hence, feed into the development of the Common Land Model. These include snow, boundary conditions from satellites, leaf physiology, and generation of point runoff.