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Wang, Dagang; Wang, Guiling; Parr, Dana T.; Liao, Weilin; Xia, Youlong; Fu, Congsheng (2017)
Languages: English
Types: Article
Land surface models bear substantial biases in simulating surface water and energy budgets despite of the continuous development and improvement of model parameterizations. To reduce model biases, Parr et al. (2015) proposed a method incorporating satellite-based evapotranspiration (ET) products into land surface models. Here we apply this method to the Community Land Model version 4.5 (CLM4.5) and test its performance over the conterminous US (CONUS). We first calibrate a relationship between the observational ET from the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM) product and the model ET from CLM4.5, and assume that this relationship holds beyond the calibration period. During the validation or application period, a simulation using the default CLM4.5 (CLM) is conducted first, and its output is combined with the calibrated observational-vs-model ET relationship to derive a corrected ET; an experiment (CLMET) is then conducted in which the model-generated ET is overwritten using the corrected ET. Using the observations of ET, runoff, and soil moisture content as benchmarks, we demonstrate that CLMET greatly reduces the biases existing in CLM. The improvement differs with region, being more significant in eastern CONUS than western CONUS, with the most striking improvement over the southeast CONUS. This regional dependence reflects primarily the regional dependence in the degree to which the relationship between observational and model ET remains time-invariant (a fundamental hypothesis of the Parr et al. method). The bias correction method provides an alternative way to improve the performance of land surface models, which could lead to more realistic drought evaluations with improved ET and soil moisture estimates.

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