Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 4, 7917-7984, 2004
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Evaluation of the hydrological cycle of MATCH driven by NCEP reanalysis data: comparison with GOME water vapor field measurements
R. Lang and M. G. Lawrence
Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany

Abstract. This study examines two key parameters of the hydrological cycle, water vapor (WV) and precipitation rates (PR), as modelled by the chemistry transport model MATCH (Model of Atmospheric Transport and Chemistry) driven by National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data (NRA). For model output evaluation we employ WV total column data from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) on ERS-2, which is the only instrument capable measuring WV on a global scale and over all surface types with a substantial data record from 1995 to the present. We find that MATCH and NRA WV and PR distributions are closely related, but that significant regional differences in both parameters exist in magnitude and distribution patterns when compared to the observations. We also find that WV residual patterns between model and observations show remarkable similarities to residuals observed in the PR when comparing MATCH and NRA output to observations comprised by the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP). We conclude that deficiencies in model parameters shared by MATCH and NRA, like, for example, in the evapotranspiration rates, are likely to lead to the observed differences. Regional differences between MATCH modelled WV columns and the observations can be as large as 2 cm on the basis of a three years monthly average. Differences in the global mean WV values are, however, below 1 mm. Regional differences in the PR between MATCH and GPCP can be above 5 mm per day and MATCH computes on average a higher PR than what has been observed. As a consequence, this leads to shorter model WV residence times by about 1 day as compared to NRA data and the observations. We find that MATCH has problems in modelling the WV content in regions of strong upward convection like, for example, along the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, where it appears to be generally too dry as compared to the observations. The study therefore suggests that a too rapid conversion of WV to precipitate in MATCH, especially in instances of strong convection, leads to regionally too dry model results and in turn to generally too low WV residence times. The study additionally demonstrates the value of the GOME WV record for model evaluation.

Citation: Lang, R. and Lawrence, M. G.: Evaluation of the hydrological cycle of MATCH driven by NCEP reanalysis data: comparison with GOME water vapor field measurements, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 4, 7917-7984, doi:10.5194/acpd-4-7917-2004, 2004.
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