Evaluation of soil moisture simulations in the CMIP5 models using satellite and in situ observations over CONUS.

Monday, 15 December 2014
Shanshui Yuan and Steven M Quiring, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States
Soil moisture is an important component of land surface processes. It plays a critical role in the earth system through affecting both energy and water balances at the surface and in the boundary layer. Because of the spatial and temporal discontinuities in soil moisture observations, model simulated soil moisture are widely used. Therefore it is necessary to evaluate the performance of soil moisture simulations in fully coupled earth system models. This project will evaluate the accuracy of soil moisture simulations in 18 earth system models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) by using both in situ and satellite based observations over CONUS. In situ observed soil moisture (top_5 cm and total soil column) will be derived from the North American Soil Moisture Database. Satellite-derived soil moisture from the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite will also be used to evaluate model performance. This project will assess the reliability of model-simulated soil moisture and identify systematic biases in the model simulations. Improvements in the accuracy of soil moisture simulation will enhance climate predictability.