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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-335
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-335
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 09 Mar 2020

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 09 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Modeling land surface processes over a mountainous rainforest in Costa Rica using CLM4.5 and CLM5

Jaeyoung Song1, Gretchen R. Miller1, Anthony T. Cahill1, Luiza Aparecido2,3, and Georgianne W. Moore2 Jaeyoung Song et al.
  • 1Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, 3136 TAMU, College Station, TX, 77843
  • 2Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University, 2138 TAMU, College Station, TX, 77843
  • 3School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287

Abstract. This study compares the performance of the Community Land Models (CLM4.5 and CLM5) against tower and ground measurements from a tropical montane rainforest in Costa Rica. The study site receives over 4,000 mm of mean annual precipitation and has high daily levels of relative humidity. The measurement tower is equipped with eddy-covariance and vertical profile systems able to measure various micrometeorological variables, particularly in wet and complex terrain. In this work, results from point-scale simulation for both CLM4.5 and its updated version (CLM5) are compared to observed canopy flux and micro-meteorological data. Both models failed to capture the effects of frequent rainfall events and mountainous topography on the variables of interest (temperatures, leaf wetness, and fluxes). Overall, CLM5 alleviates some errors in CLM4.5 but CLM5 still cannot precisely simulate a number of canopy processes for this forest. Soil, air, and canopy temperatures, as well as leaf wetness, remain too sensitive to incoming solar radiation rates despite updates to the model. As a result, daytime vapor flux and carbon flux are overestimated, and modeled temperature differences between day and night are higher than those observed. Slope effects appear in the measured average diurnal variations of surface albedo and carbon flux, but CLM5 cannot simulate these features. This study suggests that both CLM models still require further improvements concerning energy partitioning processes, such as leaf wetness process, photosynthesis model, and aerodynamic resistance model for wet and mountainous regions.

Jaeyoung Song et al.

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Jaeyoung Song et al.

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Latest update: 28 Mar 2020
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Short summary
The performance of a land surface model (CLM4.5 and 5.0) was examined against a suite of measurements from a tropical montane rainforest in Costa Rica. Both versions failed to capture the effects of frequent rainfall events and mountainous terrain on temperature, leaf wetness, photosynthesis, and transpiration. While the new model version eliminated some errors, it still cannot precisely simulate a number of processes. This suggests that two key components of the model need modification.
The performance of a land surface model (CLM4.5 and 5.0) was examined against a suite of...
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