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Report of the ACSYS/GEWEX-GLASS PILPS 2e Stage 1 Arctic Hydrological Model Intercomparison Study Workshop 2001


Report and Participant list of the ACSYS/GEWEX-GLASS PILPS 2e Stage 1 Arctic Hydrological Model Intercomparison Study Workshop, held in Seattle, WA, USA, from 18-20 March 2001.WCRP Informal Report Nr. 15/2001. Edited by D.P. Lettenmaier and L.C. Bowling.


Climate modeling studies indicate that global warming may be larger at high latitudes than elsewhere, primarily due to reduced albedo associated with contraction of sea ice extent and seasonal snow cover (e.g., Holland and Curry, 1999; Manabe and Stouffer, 1994). The strength of the coupling between the ocean, land, and atmosphere in the Arctic is particularly important because of its influence on the net transfer of heat northward, and fresh water southward, which in turn affects global climate and weather (Sausen et al., 1994. Dumenil and Todini, 1992). All of these considerations motivate the improvement of high-latitude land surface representations within coupled land-atmosphere models used for numerical weather and climate prediction. The Project for Intercomparison of Land Surface Parameterization Schemes (PILPS) is the Local Off-Line Action Group within the GEWEX Global Land-Surface/Atmosphere System Study (GLASS). GLASS has been organized under the GEWEX Modelling and Prediction Panel (GMPP) to coordinate land-surface scheme development activities. The goal is to achieve improvements in land-surface schemes for the benefit of numerical weather prediction and climate models such that confidence in the simulated land-surface quantities will be enhanced. As a contribution to GLASS, the objective of the PILPS Phase 2e is to evaluate the performance of uncoupled land surface parameterizations in high latitudes, in a context that allows evaluation of their ability to capture key processes spatially. For this purpose, the study design must go beyond one-dimensional tests to evaluate model performance in the context of medium to large river basins. The need for an evaluation of Arctic hydrology models was identified by the WCRP ACSYS Scientific Steering Group and by the GEWEX Hydrometeorological Panel (GHP) at their annual meetings in 1997. Subsequently a joint meeting of representatives of ACSYS and the GHP was held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (WCRP, 1999a). The proposed experiment was sanctioned by PILPS at its International Strategy Forum held in Honolulu, Hawaii in February 1999, which led

to a planning meeting in Koblenz, Germany in March 1999, the result of which was an experiment plan (WCRP, 1999b). The experiment was initiated with release of data sets to participants in July 2000. This report summarizes results of a participants workshop held in Seattle, WA, USA from 18-20 March 2001.  The purpose of the PILPS 2e workshop was to provide a forum for discussion of preliminary results from Stage 1 of the experiment, and to develop the strategy for completion of the experiment and dissemination of the results to the scientific community. Topics for the meeting included:

(1) Review of summary results;

(2) Comments by individual participants about performance of their models, and any peculiarities experienced;

(3) Discussion of possible need for, and nature of, additional model runs;

(4) Discussion of participants’ experience with the new consistent data exchange formats developed and administrated by the GLASS Infrastructure/Assistance for Land-surface Modeling Activities (ALMA) Action Group and used for the first time in PILPS 2e; and

(5) Publication of results.

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