Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-290
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-290

  18 Oct 2021

18 Oct 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Land-atmosphere interactions in sub-polar and alpine climates in the CORDEX FPS LUCAS models: I. Evaluation of the snow-albedo effect

Anne Sophie Daloz1, Clemens Schwingshackl1,13, Priscilla Mooney2, Susanna Strada3, Diana Rechid4, Edouard L. Davin5, Eleni Katragkou6, Nathalie de Noblet-Ducoudré7, Michal Belda8, Tomas Halenka8, Marcus Breil9, Rita M. Cardoso10, Peter Hoffmann4, Daniela C. A. Lima10, Ronny Meier5, Pedro M. M. Soares10, Giannis Sofiadis6, Gustav Strandberg11, Merja H. Toelle12, and Marianne T. Lund1 Anne Sophie Daloz et al.
  • 1CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Oslo, Norway
  • 2NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
  • 3International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy
  • 4Climate Service Center Germany, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Hamburg, Germany
  • 5Wyss Academy for Nature, Climate and Environmental Physics, Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 6Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 7Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’environnement, Paris, France
  • 8Department of Atmospheric Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 9Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 10Instituto Dom Luiz, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
  • 11Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrkoping, Sweden
  • 12Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel, Germany
  • 13Department of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

Abstract. In the Northern Hemisphere, the seasonal snow cover plays a major role in the climate system via its effect on surface albedo and fluxes. The parameterization of snow-atmosphere interactions in climate models remains a source of uncertainty and biases in the representation of the local and global climate. Here, we evaluate the ability of an ensemble of regional climate models (RCMs) coupled to different land surface models to simulate the snow albedo effect over Europe, in winter and spring. We use a previously defined index, the Snow Albedo Sensitivity Index (SASI), to quantify the radiative forcing due to the snow albedo effect. By comparing RCM-derived SASI values with SASI calculated from reanalyses and satellite retrievals, we show that an accurate simulation of snow cover is essential for correctly reproducing the observed forcing over mid- and high-latitudes in Europe. The choice of parameterizations with first and foremost the choice of the land surface model but also the convection scheme and the planetary boundary layer, strongly influences the representation of SASI as it affects the ability of climate models to simulate snow cover correctly. The agreement between the datasets differs between the accumulation and ablation periods, with the latter one presenting the greatest challenge for the RCMs. Given the dominant role of land surface processes in the simulation of snow cover during the ablation period, the results suggest that the choice of the land surface model is more critical for the representation of SASI than the atmospheric model during this time period.

Anne Sophie Daloz et al.

Status: open (until 13 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-290 by Daloz et al.', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Nov 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-290', Anonymous Referee #2, 17 Nov 2021 reply

Anne Sophie Daloz et al.

Anne Sophie Daloz et al.

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Short summary
Snow is an important part of our climate as it regulates the temperature of the Earth’s surface. Reciprocally with climate change, rising temperatures are already altering the Earth’s snow. In this context, it is crucial to better understand snow-atmosphere processes and the ability of climate models to represent them. The goal of this study is to participate in the effort to improve climate models by identifying the strengths and weaknesses regarding their representation of snow over Europe.