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We replace the existing land surface parameterization scheme, the Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS), in a regional climate model (RegCM) with the newly developed Common Land Model (CLM0). The main improvements of CLM0 include a detailed 10-layer soil model, the distinction between soil ice and water phases, a linked photosynthesis-stomatal conductance model, a multilayer snow model, and an improved runoff parameterization. We compare the performance of CLM0 and BATS as coupled to the RegCM in a one year simulation over East Asia. We find that the RegCM/CLM0 improves the winter cold bias present in the RegCM/BATS simulation. With respect to the surface energy balance, lower CLM0 albedos allow the absorption of more solar radiation at the surface. CLM0 tends to simulate higher sensible heat and lower latent heat fluxes than its BATS counterpart. The surface water balance also changes considerably between the two land surface schemes. Compared to BATS, CLM0 precipitation is reduced overall and surface runoff is increased, thereby allowing less water to enter the soil column. Evapotranspiration is lower in CLM0 due to lower ground evaporation, which leads to a wetter surface soil in CLM0 in spite of less precipitation input. However, transpiration is greater in CLM0 than BATS, which has an overall effect of less surface storage during the summertime. Comparison with station observations indicates that CLM0 tends to improve the simulation of root zone soil water content compared to BATS. Another pronounced difference between the two schemes is that CLM0 produces lower snow amounts than BATS because of different snow models and warmer CLM0 temperatures. In this case, BATS snow cover amounts are more in line with observations. Overall, except for the snow amounts, CLM0 appears to improve the RegCM simulation of the surface energy and water budgets compared to BATS.
Steiner, A. L., et al. “The Coupling of the Common Land Model (CLM0) to a Regional Climate Model (RegCM).” Theoretical & Applied Climatology, vol. 82, no. 3–4, Dec. 2005, pp. 225–243.