Yang, Z.-L., R. E. Dickinson, A. Robock, and K. Y. Vinnikov,
1997: On validation of the snow sub-model of the Biosphere-Atmosphere
Transfer Scheme with Russian snow cover and meteorological observational
data. J. Climate, 10, 353-373.
Snow cover is one of the most important variables affecting agriculture,
hydrology and climate, but it is unfortunately not operationally measured.
Therefore, the effectiveness and validity of snow schemes in general
circulation models have been difficult to assess. Using long-term snow cover
data from the former Soviet Union, this paper focuses on validation of the
snow sub-model in the Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS) using six
years of data (1978-1983) at six stations. The results have demonstrated that
the scheme is capable of reproducing the observed water equivalent for all the
six stations considered. In particular, the time of accumulation and the end
of ablation, the melting and freezing cycles, and the alteration due to aging
are well captured. It is found that the simulated snow depth and water
equivalent are sensitive to snow-rain criterion and downward longwave
radiation, and that the simulated surface albedo is sensitive to the
parameterization of snow cover fraction. It is demonstrated that the use of
the cosine of solar zenith angle as a constant 0.6 in the albedo
parameterization is a reasonable approximation. Overall, our results have
indicated that more complicated snow models may not be necessary for GCMs and
that the Russian data are valuable for these types of model tests.
Prepared by Alan Robock (email@example.com ) -
Last updated on February 2, 1999