Estimates of global surface hydrology and heat fluxes from the community land model (CLM4.5) with four atmospheric forcing datasets

Aihui Wang, Xubin Zeng, Donglin Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Global land surface hydrology and heat fluxes can be estimated by running a land surface model (LSM) driven by the atmospheric forcing dataset. Previous multimodel studies focused on the impact of different LSMs on model results. Here the sensitivity of the Community Land Model, version 4.5 (CLM4.5), results to the atmospheric forcing dataset is documented. Together with the model default global forcing dataset (CRU-NCEP, hereafter CRUNCEP), three newly developed, reanalysis-based, near-surface meteorological datasets (i.e., MERRA, CFSR, and ERA-Interim) with the precipitation adjusted by the Global Precipitation Climatology Project monthly product were used to drive CLM4.5. All four simulations were run at 0.5° × 0.5° grids from 1979 to 2009 with the identical initialization. The simulated monthly surface hydrology variables, fluxes, and the forcing datasets were then evaluated against various observation-based datasets (soil moisture, runoff, snow depth and water equivalent, and flux tower measurements). To partially avoid the mismatch between model gridbox values and point measurements, three approaches were taken. The model simulations based on three newly constructed forcing datasets are overall better than the simulation from CRUNCEP, in particular for soil moisture and snow quantities. The ensemble mean from the CLM4.5 simulations using the four forcing datasets is generally superior to individual simulations, and the ensemble mean latent and sensible heat fluxes over global land (60°S-90°N) are 42.8 and 40.3 W m-2, respectively. The differences in both precipitation and other atmospheric forcing variables (e.g., air temperature and downward solar radiation) contribute to the differences in simulated results. The datasets are available from the authors for further evaluation and for various applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2493-2510
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Ensembles
  • Land surface model
  • Model comparison
  • Model evaluation/performance
  • Models and modeling
  • Numerical analysis/modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimates of global surface hydrology and heat fluxes from the community land model (CLM4.5) with four atmospheric forcing datasets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this