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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 15, issue 10 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 5405-5413, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-5405-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 19 May 2015

Research article | 19 May 2015

A global model simulation for 3-D radiative transfer impact on surface hydrology over the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

W.-L. Lee1, Y. Gu2, K. N. Liou2, L. R. Leung3, and H.-H. Hsu1 W.-L. Lee et al.
  • 1Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
  • 3Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA

Abstract. We investigate 3-D mountain effects on solar flux distributions and their impact on surface hydrology over the western United States, specifically the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, using the global CCSM4 (Community Climate System Model version 4; Community Atmosphere Model/Community Land Model – CAM4/CLM4) with a 0.23° × 0.31° resolution for simulations over 6 years. In a 3-D radiative transfer parameterization, we have updated surface topography data from a resolution of 1 km to 90 m to improve parameterization accuracy. In addition, we have also modified the upward-flux deviation (3-D–PP (plane-parallel)) adjustment to ensure that the energy balance at the surface is conserved in global climate simulations based on 3-D radiation parameterization. We show that deviations in the net surface fluxes are not only affected by 3-D mountains but also influenced by feedbacks of cloud and snow in association with the long-term simulations. Deviations in sensible heat and surface temperature generally follow the patterns of net surface solar flux. The monthly snow water equivalent (SWE) deviations show an increase in lower elevations due to reduced snowmelt, leading to a reduction in cumulative runoff. Over higher-elevation areas, negative SWE deviations are found because of increased solar radiation available at the surface. Simulated precipitation increases for lower elevations, while it decreases for higher elevations, with a minimum in April. Liquid runoff significantly decreases at higher elevations after April due to reduced SWE and precipitation.

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This paper investigates 3-D mountain effects on solar flux distributions and their impact on surface hydrology over the western United States, specifically the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, using the global CCSM4 (CAM4/CLM4) with a 0.23°×0.31° resolution for simulations over 6 years. We show that deviations in the net surface fluxes are not only affected by 3-D mountains but also influenced by feedbacks of cloud and snow in association with the long-term simulations.
This paper investigates 3-D mountain effects on solar flux distributions and their impact on...
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