Prognostic land surface albedo from a dynamic global vegetation model clumped canopy radiative transfer scheme and satellite-derived geographic forest heights

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 1:40 PM
Nancy Y Kiang1, Wenze Yang2, Wenge Ni-Meister3, Igor D Aleinov1,4 and Jeffrey Jonas1,4, (1)NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, United States, (2)University of Maryland, College Park, MD, United States, (3)CUNY Hunter College, New York, NY, United States, (4)Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States
Vegetation cover was introduced into general circulations models (GCMs) in the 1980’s to account for the effect of land surface albedo and water vapor conductance on the Earth’s climate. Schemes assigning canopy albedoes by broad biome type have been superceded in 1990’s by canopy radiative transfer schemes for homogeneous canopies obeying Beer’s Law extinction as a function of leaf area index (LAI). Leaf albedo and often canopy height are prescribed by plant functional type (PFT). It is recognized that this approach does not effectively describe geographic variation in the radiative transfer of vegetated cover, particularly for mixed and sparse canopies. GCM-coupled dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) have retained these simple canopy representations, with little further evaluation of their albedos. With the emergence lidar-derived canopy vertical structure data, DGVM modelers are now revisiting albedo simulation.

We present preliminary prognostic global land surface albedo produced by the Ent Terrestrial Biosphere Model (TBM), a DGVM coupled to the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) GCM. The Ent TBM is a next generation DGVM designed to incorporate variation in canopy heights, and mixed and sparse canopies. For such dynamically varying canopy structure, it uses the Analytical Clumped Two-Stream (ACTS) canopy radiative transfer model, which is derived from gap probability theory for canopies of tree cohorts with ellipsoidal crowns, and accounts for soil, snow, and bare stems. We have developed a first-order global vegetation structure data set (GVSD), which gives a year of satellite-derived geographic variation in canopy height, maximum canopy leaf area, and seasonal LAI. Combined with Ent allometric relations, this data set provides population density and foliage clumping within crowns. We compare the Ent prognostic albedoes to those of the previous GISS GCM scheme, and to satellite estimates. The impact of albedo differences on surface climatology is analyzed. Future versions of the Ent GVSD will specify vertical stratification of canopy communities. This work sets the foundation for accounting for canopy clumping in vegetation community competition for light, and the ability of GCM-coupled DGVMs to incorporate lidar data sets of canopy structure.