Articles | Volume 22, issue 6
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 3311–3330, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-3311-2018
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 3311–3330, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-3311-2018

Research article 14 Jun 2018

Research article | 14 Jun 2018

Harnessing big data to rethink land heterogeneity in Earth system models

Nathaniel W. Chaney et al.

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Short summary
The petabytes of existing global environmental data provide an invaluable asset to improve the characterization of land heterogeneity in Earth system models. This study introduces a clustering algorithm that summarizes a domain's heterogeneity through spatially interconnected clusters. A series of land model simulations in central California using this approach illustrate the critical role that multi-scale heterogeneity can have on the macroscale water, energy, and carbon cycles.