Articles | Volume 1, issue 2
30 Jun 1997
30 Jun 1997

Aggregation rules for surface parameters in global models

W. J. Shuttleworth, Z.-L. Yang, and M. A. Arain

Abstract. Aggregation rules are derived for calculating the effective value of parameters that determine the exchange of momentum and energy between the land surface and the atmosphere at the length scales used in General Circulation Models (GCMs). The derivation involves starting from theories that link parameters relevant at grid scale and patch scale, and then imposing the limitations necessarily present when models are operated in a free-standing, predictive mode. The application of these rules is illustrated by example for the case of the Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS). Remotely sensed global maps of land cover classes at 1 km x 1 km pixel scale for North America, South America, and Africa are used with these new aggregation rules to calculate area-average values of parameters for the 3° x 3° grid mesh used in the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate Model. There are significant differences between the parameters calculated using aggregation rules and the values selected on the basis of the dominant vegetation cover in each grid, this being the selection procedure conventionally applied with BATS.