Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
Special issue:
10 Feb 2010
 | 10 Feb 2010

Numerical study of surface energy partitioning on the Tibetan plateau: comparative analysis of two biosphere models

J. Hong and J. Kim

Abstract. The Tibetan Plateau is a critical region in the research of biosphere-atmosphere interactions on both regional and global scales due to its relation to Asian summer monsoon and El Niño. The unique environment on the Plateau provides valuable information for the evaluation of the models' surface energy partitioning associated with the summer monsoon. In this study, we investigated the surface energy partitioning on this important area through comparative analysis of two biosphere models constrained by the in-situ observation data. Indeed, the characteristics of the Plateau provide a unique opportunity to clarify the structural deficiencies of biosphere models as well as new insight into the surface energy partitioning on the Plateau. Our analysis showed that the observed inconsistency between the two biosphere models was mainly related to: 1) the parameterization for soil evaporation; 2) the way to deal with roughness lengths of momentum and scalars; and 3) the parameterization of subgrid velocity scale for aerodynamic conductance. Our study demonstrates that one should carefully interpret the modeling results on the Plateau especially during the pre-monsoon period.

Special issue
Final-revised paper