# Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Search our Site:

## New Mathematical Method Enhances Hydrology Simulations

17.04.2015

Approach uses land-atmosphere observations to calibrate model.

Just as a racecar's engine needs the right fuel to get the best performance, so climate models need finely tuned parameters to accurately simulate the impacts of different technologies and policies.

Image courtesy of Storm Crypt (Flickr) via a Creative Commons License.

Scientists have developed a new approach that uses sophisticated mathematical solutions to improve computational simulations of ecosystem water processes.

Led by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a team applied sophisticated mathematical solutions to fine tune the water and energy exchange parameters, numerical stand-ins for complex processes, to more accurately simulate water and energy fluxes in the Community Land Model under different climate and environmental conditions.

The Impact

Calibrating the water and energy exchange parameters significantly improved simulations compared to results using the default Community Land Model parameter values.

Summary

The exchange of water and energy between the atmosphere and land is among the most uncertain aspects of climate modeling. For example, when rain falls on land, the amount of water that evaporates back into the atmosphere or gets carried by groundwater to rivers and the ocean is unclear.

The answer to this and similar questions could be estimated using climate models, but these models have numerous variables or "parameters" that must be adjusted based on observations of different regions of the Earth. One way to adjust these parameters is to run the model repeatedly, each time changing the parameters individually until a solution that matches observations is found.

However, it is possible that a different set of solutions would also match observations. Researchers evaluated inversion methodologies at select field sites based on global sensitivity analyses. They found significant improvements in the model simulations that better match the observed heat flux and runoff by using the estimated parameters compared to using the default parameters.Improvements in heat flux were found especially in areas with strong energy and water constraints.

Funding

This work is supported by the Climate Science for a Sustainable Energy Future project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science through the Earth System Modeling Program. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's (PNNL) Platform for Regional Integrated Modeling and Analysis (PRIMA) Initiative provided support for the model configuration and datasets used in the numerical experiments.

Additional support was provided by the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC51190092, 51222901) and the foundation of the State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering of Tsinghua University (2012-KY-03).

Publication

Y. Sun, Z. Hou, M. Huang, F. Tian, and L.R. Leung,"Inverse modeling of hydrologic parameters using surface flux and runoff observations in the Community Land Model." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 17, 4995–5011 (2013). [DOI: 10.5194/hess-17-4995-2013].

Contact Information
Kristin Manke
kristin.manke@science.doe.gov

Kristin Manke | newswise

Further reports about: Atmosphere Earth Earth System Sciences Energy Simulations heat models parameters

### More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

### Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

### Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

### Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

### Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

### Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige