Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2016-477
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
09 Nov 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Evaluation of soil moisture in CMIP5 simulations over contiguous United States using in situ and satellite observations
Shanshui Yuan1 and Steven M. Quiring2 1Climate Science Lab, Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, United States
2Atmospheric Sciences Program, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, United States
Abstract. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of soil moisture simulations in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) extended historical experiment (2003 to 2012). Soil moisture from in situ and satellite sources are used to evaluate CMIP5 simulations in the contiguous United States (CONUS). Both near-surface (0–10 cm) and soil column (0–100 cm) simulations from more than 14 CMIP5 models are evaluated during the warm season (April–September). Multi-model ensemble means and the performance of individual models are assessed at a monthly time scale. Our results indicate that CMIP5 models can reproduce the seasonal variability in soil moisture over CONUS. However, the models tend to overestimate the magnitude of both near-surface and soil-column soil moisture in the western U.S. and underestimate it in the eastern U.S. There are large variations in model performance, especially in the near-surface. There are significant regional and inter-model variations in performance. Results of a regional analysis show that in deeper soil layer, the CMIP5 soil moisture simulations tend to be most skillful in the southern U.S. Based on both the satellite-derived and in situ soil moisture, CESM1, CCSM4 and GFDL-ESM2M perform best in the 0–10 cm soil layer and CESM1, CCSM4, GFDL-ESM2M and HadGEM2-ES perform best in the 0–100 cm soil layer.

Citation: Yuan, S. and Quiring, S. M.: Evaluation of soil moisture in CMIP5 simulations over contiguous United States using in situ and satellite observations, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-477, in review, 2016.
Shanshui Yuan and Steven M. Quiring
Shanshui Yuan and Steven M. Quiring
Shanshui Yuan and Steven M. Quiring

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