Climate Dynamics

, Volume 40, Issue 9–10, pp 2251–2269 | Cite as

Combined influence of atmospheric physics and soil hydrology on the simulated meteorology at the SIRTA atmospheric observatory

  • F. CheruyEmail author
  • A. Campoy
  • J.-C. Dupont
  • A. Ducharne
  • F. Hourdin
  • M. Haeffelin
  • M. Chiriaco
  • A. Idelkadi


The identification of the land-atmosphere interactions as one of the key source of uncertainty in climate models calls for process-level assessment of the coupled atmosphere/land continental surface system in numerical climate models. To this end, we propose a novel approach and apply it to evaluate the standard and new parametrizations of boundary layer/convection/clouds in the Earth System Model (ESM) of Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), which differentiate the IPSL-CM5A and IPSL-CM5B climate change simulations produced for the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 5 exercise. Two different land surface hydrology parametrizations are also considered to analyze different land-atmosphere interactions. Ten-year simulations of the coupled land surface/atmospheric ESM modules are confronted to observations collected at the SIRTA (Site Instrumental de Recherche par Télédection Atmosphérique), located near Paris (France). For sounder evaluation of the physical parametrizations, the grid of the model is stretched and refined in the vicinity of the SIRTA, and the large scale component of the modeled circulation is adjusted toward ERA-Interim reanalysis outside of the zoomed area. This allows us to detect situations where the parametrizations do not perform satisfactorily and can affect climate simulations at the regional/continental scale, including in full 3D coupled runs. In particular, we show how the biases in near surface state variables simulated by the ESM are explained by (1) the sensible/latent heat partitionning at the surface, (2) the low level cloudiness and its radiative impact at the surface, (3) the parametrization of turbulent transport in the surface layer, (4) the complex interplay between these processes. We also show how the new set of parametrizations can improve these biases.


Climate model Boundary layer parametrization Evaluation Land surface Instrumented site Land-atmosphere interactions 



The Météo-France station data collected in the vicinity of the SIRTA site have been made available to us thanks to the DEPHY/Insu/LEFE french project. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union, Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement n 244067, EUCLIPSE. Aurélien Campoy was supported by a grant from Région Ile-de-France. We extend our acknowledgments to the technical and computer staff (particularly to Ludmila Klenov) of SIRTA observatory for taking the observations and compile them in the SCTD data set. The authors acknowledge ECMWF for providing the data and the ClimServ team from the ESPRI/IPSL data center for their help in accessing and formating the data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Cheruy
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Campoy
    • 4
  • J.-C. Dupont
    • 3
  • A. Ducharne
    • 4
  • F. Hourdin
    • 2
  • M. Haeffelin
    • 3
  • M. Chiriaco
    • 5
  • A. Idelkadi
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique du CNRSParis Cedex 05France
  2. 2.LMDParis Cedex 05France
  3. 3.IPSL, Ecole PolytechniquePalaiseau CedexFrance
  4. 4.Sisyphe, UPMC/CNRSParisFrance
  5. 5.LATMOSParisFrance

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