Landscape Coupling Between Climate, Clouds, Precipitation, Snow and the Surface Radiation Budget

Monday, 15 December 2014: 11:20 AM
Alan K Betts, Atmospheric Research, Pittsford, VT, United States
Our understanding of the coupling of the diurnal, seasonal and long-term climate of temperature and RH with precipitation and the surface radiation budget has been transformed by the release of 600 station years of reflective cloud data from stations across the Canadian Prairies. These data enable us to separate for the first time the distinct roles of cloud forcing and precipitation in land-atmosphere coupling and memory. This talk will map these climate relations from the diurnal to the 50-year timescale using these observational data, as a benchmark for the coupling of processes in regional and global models. We will also show how changes in cropping in the past 30 years have altered the diurnal climate in the growing season. On the annual timescale, the rapid transitions with snow completely transform the surface boundary layer coupling and the winter climate.