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Global and regional coupled climate sensitivity to the parameterization of rainfall interception


Mao, J and Pitman, AJ and Phipps, SJ and Abramowitz, G and Wang, Y, Global and regional coupled climate sensitivity to the parameterization of rainfall interception, Climate Dynamics, 37 pp. 171-186. ISSN 0930-7575 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Springer-Verlag

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00382-010-0862-7


A coupled land–atmosphere model is used to explore the impact of seven commonly used canopy rainfall interception schemes on the simulated climate. Multiple 30-year simulations are conducted for each of the seven methods and results are analyzed in terms of the mean climatology and the probability density functions (PDFs) of key variables based on daily data. Results show that the method used for canopy interception strongly affects how rainfall is partitioned between canopy evaporation and throughfall. However, the impact on total evaporation is much smaller, and the impact on rainfall and air temperature is negligible. Similarly, the PDFs of canopy evaporation and transpiration for six selected regions are strongly affected by the method used for canopy interception, but the impact on total evaporation, temperature and precipitation is negligible. Our results show that the parameterization of rainfall interception is important to the surface hydrometeorology, but the seven interception parameterizations examined here do not cause a statistically significant impact on the climate of the coupled model. We suggest that broad scale climatological differences between coupled climate models are not likely the result of how interception is parameterized. This conclusion is inconsistent with inferences derived from earlier uncoupled simulations, or simulations using very simplified climate models.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate models, terrestrial processes
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Geomorphology and earth surface processes
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate change models
UTAS Author:Phipps, SJ (Dr Steven Phipps)
ID Code:104710
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-11-18
Last Modified:2017-10-30

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