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LS3MIP: Land Surface, Snow and Soil Moisture Model Intercomparison Project

In the context of WCPR's Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), the Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) and the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) are putting forward a joint model intercomparison (and improvement) project. The aims of the Land Surface, Snow and Soil Moisture Model Intercomparison Project (LS3MIP) are:

  • Assess the performance of current land surface modules of Earth System Models
  • Quantify land surface feedbacks in a changing climate

LS3MIP Objectives and Design

In particular, the goal of the LS3MIP experiment is to provide a comprehensive assessment of land surface-,  snow-, and soil moisture-climate feedbacks, and to diagnose systematic biases in the land modules of current ESMs using constrained land-module only experiments. The solid and liquid water stored at the land surface has a large influence on the regional climate, its variability and predictability, including effects on the energy and carbon cycles. Notably, snow and soil moisture affect surface radiation and flux partitioning properties, moisture storage and land surface memory. They both strongly affect the atmospheric conditions, in particular air temperature, but also large-scale circulation patterns and precipitation. Climate models, however, show divergent responses and representations of these feedbacks as well as systematic biases due to simplifications or missing parameterizations of key the underlying processes. LS3MIP will provide the means to quantify the associated uncertainties and to better constrain climate change projections, of particular interest for highly vulnerable regions (densely populated regions, polar regions, agricultural areas, land ecosystems).

LS3MIP is a coordinated effort of the Global Soil Wetness Project Phase 3 (GSWP3), Global Land Atmosphere Coupling Experiment – Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (GLACE-CMIP) and the Earth System Model - Snow Model Intercomparison Project (ESM-SnowMIP) activites. Joining together the aspects of these individual projects that are directly related to coupled Earth System modeling, LS3MIP is proposed as a CMIP6 subproject. It directly contributes to 3 out of 6 WCRP Grand Challenges (see figure below).

LS3MIP addresses several fundamental objectives of CMIP6 (see figure below). In particular, LS3MIP contains possible future land surface model evaluation simulations that, in the long term, are planned to become part of the common CMIP Diagnostic, Evaluation and Characterization of Klima (DECK) base simulations.

The current CMIP6 LS3MIP proposal, including a detailed scientific rationale, an overview of link to other CMIP6 subprojects and a list of proposed simulations, can be downloaded here.

This project is co-chaired by: Bart van den Hurk, Gerhard Krinner, Sonia Seneviratne, Chris Derksen, Hyungjun Kim and Taikan Oki. Please contact any of these persons for further information.



LS3MIP Description Paper (GMD)
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2017 LS3MIP Kick-off Online Meeting