The impact of implementing the bare essentials of surface transfer land surface scheme into the BMRC GCM

Z. L. Yang*, A. J. Pitman, B. McAvaney, A. Henderson-Sellers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study describes the first order impacts of incorporating a complex land-surface scheme, the bare essentials of surface transfer (BEST), into the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre (BMRC) global atmospheric general circulation model (GCM). Land seasonal climatologies averaged over the last six years of integrations after equilibrium from the GCM with BEST and without BEST (the control) are compared. The modeled results are evaluated with comprehensive sources of data, including the layer-cloud climatologies from the international satellite cloud climatology project (ISCCP) data from 1983 to 1991 and the surface-observed global data of Warren et al., a five-year climatology of surface albedo estimated from earth radiation budget experiment (ERBE) top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA) radiatioe fluxes, global grid point datasets of precipitation, and the climatological analyses of surface evaporation and albedo. Emphasis is placed on the surface evaluation of simulations of landsurface conditions such as surface roughness, surface albedo and the surface wetness factor, and on their effects on surface evaporation, precipitation, layer-cloud and surface temperature. The improvements due to the inclusion of BEST are: a realistic geographical distribution of surface roughness, a decrease in surface albedo over areas with seasonal snow cover, and an increase in surface albedo over snow-free land. The simulated reduction in surface evaporation due, in part, to the biophysical control of vegetation, is also consistent with the previous studies. Since the control climate has a dry bias, the overall simulations from the GCM with BEST are degraded, except for significant improvements for the northern winter hemisphere because of the realistic vegetation-masking effects. The implications of our results for synergistic developments of other aspects of model parameterization schemes such as boundary layer dynamics, clouds, convection and rainfall are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-297
Number of pages19
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995


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