Aerospace Engineering

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Simulation of potential impacts of man-made land use changes on U.S. summer climate under various synoptic regimes

1999-03-27 , Pan, Zaitao , Takle, Eugene , Segal, Moti , Arritt, Raymond , Takle, Eugene , Aerospace Engineering , Ames Laboratory , Agronomy , Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

This study evaluates impacts of land use changes due to human settlement on regional summer climate over the central and western United States by performing 30-day simulations during normal, drought, and flood years. Under current land use the simulated evapotranspiration increased noticeably over the central United States where grassland has been replaced by crops. Simulated evapotranspiration decreased slightly in the western United States. These changes produced wetter and cooler surface air over the central United States and slightly drier and warmer air over the western United States. Responses of surface fluxes and thus screen height variables to land use changes were consistent from year to year, whereas rainfall showed strong interannual variations because of the combination of various dynamic processes involved in precipitation. For normal year conditions, average evapotranspiration and rainfall under current land use increased by 18% and 8%, respectively, over the central United States, whereas they slightly decreased in the western United States. In both flood and drought years, current land use exhibited a rainfall increase in the western United States and a decrease over the central United States. The decrease of rainfall with increased evapotranspiration in the central United States was likely associated with weakening of the dynamic forcing needed to produce precipitation.

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Influences of Model Parameterization Schemes on the Response of Rainfall to Soil Moisture in the Central United States

1996-08-01 , Pan, Zaitao , Takle, Eugene , Segal, Moti , Turner, Richard , Takle, Eugene , Aerospace Engineering , Ames Laboratory , Agronomy , Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

The sensitivities of soil moisture impacts on summer rainfall in the central United States to different commonly used cumulus parameterization and surface flux schemes are examined using the PSU-NCAR MMS under different atmospheric and soil moisture conditions. The cumulus convection schemes used are the Kuo and Grell parameterization schemes, while the surface-moisture flux schemes used are the aerodynamic formulation and the Simple Biosphere (SiB) Model. Results show that a transient increase in soil moisture enhanced total rainfall over the simulation domain. The increase in soil moisture enhanced local rainfall when the lower atmosphere was thermally unstable and relatively dry, but it decreased the rainfall when the atmosphere was humid and lacked sufficient thermal forcing to initiate deep convection. Soil moisture impacts were noticeably stronger for the Kuo scheme, which simulated lighter peak rainfall, than those for the Grell scheme, which simulated heavier peak rainfall. The greater sensitivity to soil moisture exhibited by the Kuo scheme than either the Grell or explicit scheme implies that it exaggerated the role of soil moisture. This difference was related to how each scheme partitioned rainfall between convective and stable forms, and possibly to each scheme's closure assumptions. Adding details to the surface-moisture flux schemes had a secondary influence on soil moisture impacts on rainfall within a 24-h period.