U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Evaluation of Surface Flux Parameterizations
Published: October 01, 2012
Posted: November 20, 2012

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) scientists used a seven-year dataset from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) scientific user facility’s Southern Great Plains site to evaluate the six surface flux parameterizations used in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and three U. S. global climate models (GCMs). Surface momentum, sensible heat flux, and latent heat flux are critical processes that need to be accurately represented in large-scale weather and climate models. However, direct observational evaluation of the parameterization schemes for these fluxes is rare. The long-term observations of surface fluxes collected at the ARM Southern Great Plains site were used to evaluate the model parameterizations under a variety of stability conditions, diurnal cycles, and seasons. Statistical analyses show that the momentum flux parameterization agrees best with the observations, followed by latent heat flux, sensible heat flux, and the evaporation ratio/Bowen ratio. The overall performance of these parameterizations depends on atmospheric stability and is best under neutral stratification conditions, deteriorating under both more stable and more unstable conditions. The results also demonstrate the need for improving land-surface models and for the measurement of surface properties that allow their full evaluation.

Reference: Liu, G., Y. Liu, and S. Endo. 2012. “Evaluation of Surface Flux Parameterizations with Long-Term ARM Observations,” Monthly Weather Review, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-12-00095.1. (Reference link)

Contact: Wanda Ferrell, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0043, Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Facility: DOE ARM User Facility

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)