Evaluation of the Diurnal Cycle in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Over Land as Represented by a Variety of Single-Column Models: The Second GABLS Experiment
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- Svensson, G., Holtslag, A.A.M., Kumar, V. et al. Boundary-Layer Meteorol (2011) 140: 177. doi:10.1007/s10546-011-9611-7
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We present the main results from the second model intercomparison within the GEWEX (Global Energy and Water cycle EXperiment) Atmospheric Boundary Layer Study (GABLS). The target is to examine the diurnal cycle over land in today’s numerical weather prediction and climate models for operational and research purposes. The set-up of the case is based on observations taken during the Cooperative Atmosphere-Surface Exchange Study-1999 (CASES-99), which was held in Kansas, USA in the early autumn with a strong diurnal cycle with no clouds present. The models are forced with a constant geostrophic wind, prescribed surface temperature and large-scale divergence. Results from 30 different model simulations and one large-eddy simulation (LES) are analyzed and compared with observations. Even though the surface temperature is prescribed, the models give variable near-surface air temperatures. This, in turn, gives rise to differences in low-level stability affecting the turbulence and the turbulent heat fluxes. The increase in modelled upward sensible heat flux during the morning transition is typically too weak and the growth of the convective boundary layer before noon is too slow. This is related to weak modelled near-surface winds during the morning hours. The agreement between the models, the LES and observations is the best during the late afternoon. From this intercomparison study, we find that modelling the diurnal cycle is still a big challenge. For the convective part of the diurnal cycle, some of the first-order schemes perform somewhat better while the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) schemes tend to be slightly better during nighttime conditions. Finer vertical resolution tends to improve results to some extent, but is certainly not the solution to all the deficiencies identified.