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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-210
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model evaluation paper 28 Sep 2018

Model evaluation paper | 28 Sep 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Revisiting the First ISLSCP Field Experiment to evaluate water stress in JULESv5.0

Karina E. Williams1, Anna B. Harper2, Chris Huntingford3, Lina M. Mercado3,4, Camilla T. Mathison1, Pete D. Falloon1, Peter M. Cox2, and Joon Kim5,6 Karina E. Williams et al.
  • 1Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon, EX1 3PB, UK
  • 2College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QF, UK
  • 3Center for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, OX10 8BB, UK
  • 4Geography Department, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  • 5Dept. of Landscape Architecture & Rural Systems Engineering, Interdisciplinary Program in Agricultural & Forest Meteorology, Research Institute for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
  • 6Institute of GreenBio Science & Technology, Seoul National University, Pyeongchang, 25354 Republic of Korea

Abstract. The First ISLSCP Field Experiment (FIFE), Kansas, US, 1987–1989, made important contributions to the understanding of energy and CO2 exchanges between the land-surface and the atmosphere, which heavily influenced the development of numerical land-surface modelling. Thirty years on, we demonstrate how the wealth of data collected at FIFE and its subsequent in-depth analysis in the literature continues to be a valuable resource for the current generation of land-surface models. To illustrate, we use the FIFE dataset to evaluate the representation of water stress on tallgrass prairie vegetation in the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) and highlight areas for future development. We show that, while JULES is able to simulate a decrease in net carbon assimilation and evapotranspiration during a dry spell, the shape of the diurnal cycle is not well captured. Evaluating the model parameters and results against this dataset provides a case study on the assumptions in calibrating "unstressed" vegetation parameters and thresholds for water stress. In particular, the response to low water availability and high temperatures are calibrated separately. We also illustrate the effect of inherent uncertainties in key observables, such as leaf area index, soil moisture and soil properties. Given these valuable lessons, simulations for this site will be a key addition to a compilation of simulations covering a wide range of vegetation types and climate regimes, which will be used to improve the way that water stress is represented within JULES.

Karina E. Williams et al.
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Karina E. Williams et al.
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Short summary
Data from the First ISLSCP Field Experiment, 1987–9, is used to assess how well the JULES land-surface model simulates water stress in tallgrass prairie vegetation. We find that JULES simulates a decrease in key carbon and water cycle variables during the dry period, as expected, but that it does not capture the shape of the diurnal cycle on these days. These results will be used to inform future model development, as part of wider evaluation efforts.
Data from the First ISLSCP Field Experiment, 1987–9, is used to assess how well the JULES...
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