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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 7, issue 1
Earth Syst. Dynam., 7, 1–19, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Earth Syst. Dynam., 7, 1–19, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 18 Jan 2016

Research article | 18 Jan 2016

Lifetime of soil moisture perturbations in a coupled land–atmosphere simulation

T. Stacke and S. Hagemann
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Cited articles  
Asharaf, S. and Ahrens, B.: Soil-moisture memory in the regional climate model COSMO-CLM during the Indian summer monsoon season, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 118, 6144–6151,, 2013.
Atlas, R., Wolfson, N., and Terry, J.: The Effect of SST and Soil Moisture Anomalies on GLA Model Simulations of the 1988 U.S. Summer Drought, J. Climate, 6, 2034–2048,<2034:TEOSAS>2.0.CO;2, 1993.
Beljaars, A., Viterbo, P., Miller, M., and Betts, A.: The anomalous rainfall over the United States during July 1993: Sensitivity to land surface parameterization and soil moisture anomalies, Mon. Weather Rev., 124, 362–383,<0362:TAROTU>2.0.CO;2, 1996.
Betts, A.: Understanding hydrometeorology using global models, B. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 85, 1673–1688,, 2004.
Bony, S., Colman, R., Kattsov, V., Allan, R., Bretherton, C., Dufresne, J.-L., Hall, A., Hallegatte, S., Holland, M., Ingram, W., Randall, D., Soden, B., Tselioudis, G., and Webb, M.: How well do we understand and evaluate climate change feedback processes?, J. Climate, 19, 3445–3482,, 2006.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This study evaluates the lifetime of soil moisture perturbations using an atmosphere-land GCM. We find memory of up to 9 months for root zone soil moisture. Interactions with other surface states result in significant but short-lived anomalies in surface temperature and more stable anomalies in leaf carbon content. As these anomalies can recur repeatedly, e.g. due to interactions with a deep-soil moisture reservoir, we conclude that soil moisture initialization may impact climate predictions.
This study evaluates the lifetime of soil moisture perturbations using an atmosphere-land GCM....