Evaluating Regional Climate Models Over the American Midwest

Team Member: Jonathan Winter    

Weather and climate affect almost every facet of human activity, which makes the pursuit to understand the hydrologic and atmospheric systems of the Earth, as well as the effects of anthropogenic activities on these systems, one of the most important areas of scientific research today. One approach used to gain a better understanding of local land- atmosphere processes is regional modeling. Though limited in predictive ability by the use of boundary conditions and prescribed sea surface temperatures (SSTs), regional models are able to resolve important processes at sub-general circulation model (GCM) resolutions.

Shown above is domain and topography with, from north to south, 1.0o x 1.0o shaded boxes delineating the extent of spatial averaging over Park Falls, WI; Bondville, IL; and Little Washita Watershed, OK. The intersection of the bold lines shows the location of the FLUXNET site.

Currently, the focus of my research is assessing the ability of Regional Climate Model version 3 coupled to Integrated Biosphere Simulator (RegCM3-IBIS) and RegCM3 with its native land surface model, Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme 1e (RegCM3-BATS1e), to simulate the energy and water budgets over the Midwestern United States.

Comparison of Bowen ratio components for Bondville, IL. Each point is a June, July, August average for one year, 1996-1999 (FLUXNET 1997-1999). FLUXNET values are point measurements, while all other values are spatial averages over a 1.0o x 1.0o box.

Energy budget for Bondville, IL. Each bar is a four-year average (1996-1999) over the area contained in the middle box of above domain with the exception of FLUXNET, which is a point measurement averaged over the three years (1997-1999) available. All values are in W m-2.