Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    The Third GABLS Intercomparison Case for Evaluation Studies of Boundary-Layer Models. Part B: Results and Process Understanding
    Bosveld, F.C. ; Baas, P. ; Steeneveld, G.J. ; Holtslag, A.A.M. ; Angevine, W.M. ; Bazile, E. ; Bruijn, E.I.F. de; Deacu, D. ; Edwards, J.M. ; Ek, M. ; Larson, V.E. ; Pleim, J.E. ; Raschendorfer, M. ; Svensson, G. - \ 2014
    Boundary-Layer Meteorology 152 (2014)2. - ISSN 0006-8314 - p. 157 - 187.
    stably stratified conditions - observed evening transition - nonlocal closure-model - low-level jets - land-surface - morning transition - vertical diffusion - radiative-transfer - energy-balance - ecmwf model
    We describe and analyze the results of the third global energy and water cycle experiment atmospheric boundary layer Study intercomparison and evaluation study for single-column models. Each of the nineteen participating models was operated with its own physics package, including land-surface, radiation and turbulent mixing schemes, for a full diurnal cycle selected from the Cabauw observatory archive. By carefully prescribing the temporal evolution of the forcings on the vertical column, the models could be evaluated against observations. We focus on the gross features of the stable boundary layer (SBL), such as the onset of evening momentum decoupling, the 2-m minimum temperature, the evolution of the inertial oscillation and the morning transition. New process diagrams are introduced to interpret the variety of model results and the relative importance of processes in the SBL; the diagrams include the results of a number of sensitivity runs performed with one of the models. The models are characterized in terms of thermal coupling to the soil, longwave radiation and turbulent mixing. It is shown that differences in longwave radiation schemes among the models have only a small effect on the simulations; however, there are significant variations in downward radiation due to different boundary-layer profiles of temperature and humidity. The differences in modelled thermal coupling to the land surface are large and explain most of the variations in 2-m air temperature and longwave incoming radiation among models. Models with strong turbulent mixing overestimate the boundary-layer height, underestimate the wind speed at 200 m, and give a relatively large downward sensible heat flux. The result is that 2-m air temperature is relatively insensitive to turbulent mixing intensity. Evening transition times spread 1.5 h around the observed time of transition, with later transitions for models with coarse resolution. Time of onset in the morning transition spreads 2 h around the observed transition time. With this case, the morning transition appeared to be difficult to study, no relation could be found between the studied processes, and the variation in the time of the morning transition among the models
    Predicting multiyear North Atlantic Ocean variability
    Hazeleger, W. ; Wouters, B. ; Oldenborgh, G.J. van; Corti, S. ; Palmer, T. ; Lloyd Smith, D. ; Dunstone, N. ; Kroger, J. ; Pohlmann, H. ; Storch, J.S. von - \ 2013
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 118 (2013)3. - ISSN 2169-9275 - p. 1087 - 1098.
    meridional overturning circulation - coupled climate models - surface-temperature - physical parametrizations - multidecadal variability - decadal variability - data assimilation - labrador sea - ecmwf model - ec-earth
    We assess the skill of retrospective multiyear forecasts of North Atlantic ocean characteristics obtained with ocean-atmosphere-sea ice models that are initialized with estimates from the observed ocean state. We show that these multimodel forecasts can skilfully predict surface and subsurface ocean variability with lead times of 2 to 9 years. We focus on assessment of forecasts of major well-observed oceanic phenomena that are thought to be related to the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). Variability in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre, in particular that associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, is skilfully predicted 2-9 years ahead. The fresh water content and heat content in major convection areas such as the Labrador Sea are predictable as well, although individual events are not captured. The skill of these predictions is higher than that of uninitialized coupled model simulations and damped persistence. However, except for heat content in the subpolar gyre, differences between damped persistence and the initialized predictions are not significant. Since atmospheric variability is not predictable on multiyear time scales, initialization of the ocean and oceanic processes likely provide skill. Assessment of relationships of patterns of variability and ocean heat content and fresh water content shows differences among models indicating that model improvement can lead to further improvements of the predictions. The results imply there is scope for skilful predictions of the AMOC.
    Stable atmospheric boundary layers and diurnal Cycles-Challenges for Weather and Climate Models
    Holtslag, A.A.M. ; Svensson, G. ; Baas, P. ; Basu, S. ; Beare, B. ; Beljaars, A.C.M. ; Bosveld, F.C. ; Cuxart, J. ; Lindvall, J. ; Steeneveld, G.J. ; Tjernstrom, M. ; Wiel, B.J.H. van de - \ 2013
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 94 (2013). - ISSN 0003-0007 - p. 1691 - 1706.
    low-level jets - land-surface - contrasting nights - soil-moisture - ecmwf model - sea-ice - turbulence - cases-99 - parameterization - fluxes
    The representation of the atmospheric boundary layer is an important part of weather and climate models and impacts many applications such as air quality and wind energy. Over the years, the performance in modeling 2 m temperature and 10 m wind speed has improved but errors are still significant. This is in particular the case under clear skies and low wind-speed conditions at night as well as during winter in stably stratified conditions over land and ice. In this paper, we review these issues and provide an overview of the current understanding and model performance. Results from weather forecast and climate models are used to illustrate the state of the art, as well as findings and recommendations from three inter-comparison studies held within the “Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX)” Atmospheric Boundary Layer Study (GABLS). Within GABLS, the focus has been on the examination of the representation of the stable boundary layer and the diurnal cycle over land in clear sky conditions. For this purpose, single-column versions of weather and climate models have been compared with observations, research models and Large Eddy Simulations. The intercomparison cases are based on observations taken in the Arctic, Kansas and at Cabauw in the Netherlands. From these studies, we find that even for the non-cloudy boundary layer important parameterization challenges remain.
    Evaluation of drought propagation in an ensemble mean of large-scale hydrological models
    Loon, A.F. van; Huijgevoort, M.H.J. van; Lanen, H.A.J. van - \ 2012
    Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16 (2012). - ISSN 1027-5606 - p. 4057 - 4078.
    environment simulator jules - multimodel ensemble - climate-change - global-scale - intercomparison project - soil-moisture - united-states - ecmwf model - water cycle - runoff
    Hydrological drought is increasingly studied using large-scale models. It is, however, not sure whether large-scale models reproduce the development of hydrological drought correctly. The pressing question is how well do large-scale models simulate the propagation from meteorological to hydrological drought? To answer this question, we evaluated the simulation of drought propagation in an ensemble mean of ten large-scale models, both land-surface models and global hydrological models, that participated in the model intercomparison project of WATCH (WaterMIP). For a selection of case study areas, we studied drought characteristics (number of droughts, duration, severity), drought propagation features (pooling, attenuation, lag, lengthening), and hydrological drought typology (classical rainfall deficit drought, rain-to-snow-season drought, wet-to-dry-season drought, cold snow season drought, warm snow season drought, composite drought). Drought characteristics simulated by large-scale models clearly reflected drought propagation; i.e. drought events became fewer and longer when moving through the hydrological cycle. However, more differentiation was expected between fast and slowly responding systems, with slowly responding systems having fewer and longer droughts in runoff than fast responding systems. This was not found using large-scale models. Drought propagation features were poorly reproduced by the large-scale models, because runoff reacted immediately to precipitation, in all case study areas. This fast reaction to precipitation, even in cold climates in winter and in semi-arid climates in summer, also greatly influenced the hydrological drought typology as identified by the large-scale models. In general, the large-scale models had the correct representation of drought types, but the percentages of occurrence had some important mismatches, e.g. an overestimation of classical rainfall deficit droughts, and an underestimation of wet-to-dry-season droughts and snow-related droughts. Furthermore, almost no composite droughts were simulated for slowly responding areas, while many multi-year drought events were expected in these systems. We conclude that most drought propagation processes are reasonably well reproduced by the ensemble mean of large-scale models in contrasting catchments in Europe. Challenges, however, remain in catchments with cold and semi-arid climates and catchments with large storage in aquifers or lakes. This leads to a high uncertainty in hydrological drought simulation at large scales. Improvement of drought simulation in large-scale models should focus on a better representation of hydrological processes that are important for drought development, such as evapotranspiration, snow accumulation and melt, and especially storage. Besides the more explicit inclusion of storage in large-scale models, also parametrisation of storage processes requires attention, for example through a global-scale dataset on aquifer characteristics, improved large-scale datasets on other land characteristics (e.g. soils, land cover), and calibration/evaluation of the models against observations of storage (e.g. in snow, groundwater).
    EC-Earth V2.2: description and validation of a new seamless earth system prediction model
    Hazeleger, W. ; Wang, X. ; Severijns, C. ; Linden, E.C. van der - \ 2012
    Climate Dynamics 39 (2012)11. - ISSN 0930-7575 - p. 2611 - 2629.
    sea-surface temperature - climate-change - energy budget - coupled models - ecmwf model - ocean - variability - ice - simulations - circulation
    EC-Earth, a new Earth system model based on the operational seasonal forecast system of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), is presented. The performance of version 2.2 (V2.2) of the model is compared to observations, reanalysis data and other coupled atmosphere–ocean-sea ice models. The largescale physical characteristics of the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice are well simulated. When compared to other coupled models with similar complexity, the model performs well in simulating tropospheric fields and dynamic variables, and performs less in simulating surface temperature and fluxes. The surface temperatures are too cold, with the exception of the Southern Ocean region and parts of the Northern Hemisphere extratropics. The main patterns of interannual climate variability are well represented. Experiments with enhanced CO2 concentrations show well-known responses of Arctic amplification, land-sea contrasts, tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling. The global climate sensitivity of the current version of EC-Earth is slightly less than 1 K/(W m-2). An intensification of the hydrological cycle is found and strong regional changes in precipitation, affecting monsoon characteristics. The results show that a coupled model based on an operational seasonal prediction system can be used for climate studies, supporting emerging seamless prediction strategies.
    EC-Earth: A Seamless Earth-System Prediction Approach in Action
    Hazeleger, W. ; Severijns, C. ; Semmler, T. ; Stefanescu, S. ; Yang, S. - \ 2010
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 91 (2010)10. - ISSN 0003-0007 - p. 1357 - 1363.
    ecmwf model - climate
    Performance of HIRLAM in a semiarid heterogeneous region: Evaluation of the land surface and boundary layer description using EFEDA observations
    Jochum, A.M. ; Camino, E.R. ; Debruin, H.A.R. ; Holtslag, A.A.M. - \ 2004
    Monthly Weather Review 132 (2004)12. - ISSN 0027-0644 - p. 2745 - 2760.
    aerosol optical depth - low-level parameters - soil-moisture - ecmwf model - sequential assimilation - meteorological models - atmospheric moisture - field experiment - climate models - annual cycle
    Observations from the European Field Experiment in a Desertification-threatened Area (EFEDA) are used to evaluate the performance of the radiation, land surface, and boundary layer description of the numerical weather prediction (NWP) system High-Resolution Limited Area Model (HIRLAM) in semiarid conditions. Model analysis and 6-h forecast data of the fully coupled three-dimensional model are compared with the comprehensive dataset of a case study representing a sample of 22 days of anticyclonic conditions. Distributed micrometeorological surface stations, radiosondes, flux aircraft, and airborne lidar provide a unique validation dataset of the diurnal cycle of surface and boundary layer processes. The model surface, soil, and boundary layer are found to be too moist and slightly too cold during most of the diurnal cycle. The model radiation and surface energy budgets are biased toward more humid conditions. Model shortcomings are identified essentially in four areas. These are the moisture data assimilation, the land-use and soil classification with its associated physiographic database, the aerosol parameterization in the radiation code, and the boundary layer vertical resolution and entrainment description. Practical steps for immediate improvement of the model performance are proposed. They focus on the use of a land-use and soil classification and physiographic database adapted to Mediterranean landscapes, in combination with the inclusion of aerosol parameters in the radiation scheme, that account for the typically higher aerosol load of arid and semiarid environments.
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