Atmospheric boundary layer dynamics from balloon soundings worldwide: CLASS4GL v1.0

Hendrik Wouters*, Irina Y. Petrova, Chiel C. Van Heerwaarden, Jordi Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, Adriaan J. Teuling, Vicky Meulenberg, Joseph A. Santanello, Diego G. Miralles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The coupling between soil, vegetation and atmosphere is thought to be crucial in the development and intensification of weather extremes, especially meteorological droughts, heat waves and severe storms. Therefore, understanding the evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and the role of land–atmosphere feedbacks is necessary for earlier warnings, better climate projection and timely societal adaptation. However, this understanding is hampered by the difficulties of attributing cause–effect relationships from complex coupled models and the irregular space–time distribution of in situ observations of the land–atmosphere system. As such, there is a need for simple deterministic appraisals that systematically discriminate land–atmosphere interactions from observed weather phenomena over large domains and climatological time spans. Here, we present a new interactive data platform to study the behavior of the ABL and land–atmosphere interactions based on worldwide weather balloon soundings and an ABL model. This software tool – referred to as CLASS4GL (http://class4gl.eu, last access: 27 May 2018) – is developed with the objectives of (a) mining appropriate global observational data from ∼15 million weather balloon soundings since 1981 and combining them with satellite and reanalysis data and (b) constraining and initializing a numerical model of the daytime evolution of the ABL that serves as a tool to interpret these observations mechanistically and deterministically. As a result, it fully automizes extensive global model experiments to assess the effects of land and atmospheric conditions on the ABL evolution as observed in different climate regions around the world. The suitability of the set of observations, model formulations and global parameters employed by CLASS4GL is extensively validated. In most cases, the framework is able to realistically reproduce the observed daytime response of the mixed-layer height, potential temperature and specific humidity from the balloon soundings. In this extensive global validation exercise, a bias of 10.1 m h−1, −0.036 K h−1 and 0.06 g kg−1 h−1 is found for the morning-to-afternoon evolution of the mixed-layer height, potential temperature and specific humidity. The virtual tool is in continuous development and aims to foster a better process understanding of the drivers of the ABL evolution and their global distribution, particularly during the onset and amplification of weather extremes. Finally, it can also be used to scrutinize the representation of land–atmosphere feedbacks and ABL dynamics in Earth system models, numerical weather prediction models, atmospheric reanalysis and satellite retrievals, with the ultimate goal of improving local climate projections, providing earlier warning of extreme weather and fostering a more effective development of climate adaptation strategies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2139-2153
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2019

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Atmospheric boundary layer
Balloon
Balloons
Boundary Layer
Weather
boundary layer
weather
Climate
Meteorological balloons
Extremes
Early Warning
Humidity
climate
potential temperature
mixed layer
Atmospheric humidity
humidity
Projection
Satellites
Afternoon

Cite this

Wouters, Hendrik ; Petrova, Irina Y. ; Van Heerwaarden, Chiel C. ; Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, Jordi ; Teuling, Adriaan J. ; Meulenberg, Vicky ; Santanello, Joseph A. ; Miralles, Diego G. / Atmospheric boundary layer dynamics from balloon soundings worldwide: CLASS4GL v1.0. In: Geoscientific Model Development. 2019 ; Vol. 12, No. 5. pp. 2139-2153.
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title = "Atmospheric boundary layer dynamics from balloon soundings worldwide: CLASS4GL v1.0",
abstract = "The coupling between soil, vegetation and atmosphere is thought to be crucial in the development and intensification of weather extremes, especially meteorological droughts, heat waves and severe storms. Therefore, understanding the evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and the role of land–atmosphere feedbacks is necessary for earlier warnings, better climate projection and timely societal adaptation. However, this understanding is hampered by the difficulties of attributing cause–effect relationships from complex coupled models and the irregular space–time distribution of in situ observations of the land–atmosphere system. As such, there is a need for simple deterministic appraisals that systematically discriminate land–atmosphere interactions from observed weather phenomena over large domains and climatological time spans. Here, we present a new interactive data platform to study the behavior of the ABL and land–atmosphere interactions based on worldwide weather balloon soundings and an ABL model. This software tool – referred to as CLASS4GL (http://class4gl.eu, last access: 27 May 2018) – is developed with the objectives of (a) mining appropriate global observational data from ∼15 million weather balloon soundings since 1981 and combining them with satellite and reanalysis data and (b) constraining and initializing a numerical model of the daytime evolution of the ABL that serves as a tool to interpret these observations mechanistically and deterministically. As a result, it fully automizes extensive global model experiments to assess the effects of land and atmospheric conditions on the ABL evolution as observed in different climate regions around the world. The suitability of the set of observations, model formulations and global parameters employed by CLASS4GL is extensively validated. In most cases, the framework is able to realistically reproduce the observed daytime response of the mixed-layer height, potential temperature and specific humidity from the balloon soundings. In this extensive global validation exercise, a bias of 10.1 m h−1, −0.036 K h−1 and 0.06 g kg−1 h−1 is found for the morning-to-afternoon evolution of the mixed-layer height, potential temperature and specific humidity. The virtual tool is in continuous development and aims to foster a better process understanding of the drivers of the ABL evolution and their global distribution, particularly during the onset and amplification of weather extremes. Finally, it can also be used to scrutinize the representation of land–atmosphere feedbacks and ABL dynamics in Earth system models, numerical weather prediction models, atmospheric reanalysis and satellite retrievals, with the ultimate goal of improving local climate projections, providing earlier warning of extreme weather and fostering a more effective development of climate adaptation strategies",
author = "Hendrik Wouters and Petrova, {Irina Y.} and {Van Heerwaarden}, {Chiel C.} and {Vil{\`a}-Guerau de Arellano}, Jordi and Teuling, {Adriaan J.} and Vicky Meulenberg and Santanello, {Joseph A.} and Miralles, {Diego G.}",
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Atmospheric boundary layer dynamics from balloon soundings worldwide: CLASS4GL v1.0. / Wouters, Hendrik; Petrova, Irina Y.; Van Heerwaarden, Chiel C.; Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, Jordi; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Meulenberg, Vicky; Santanello, Joseph A.; Miralles, Diego G.

In: Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 12, No. 5, 29.05.2019, p. 2139-2153.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Atmospheric boundary layer dynamics from balloon soundings worldwide: CLASS4GL v1.0

AU - Wouters, Hendrik

AU - Petrova, Irina Y.

AU - Van Heerwaarden, Chiel C.

AU - Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, Jordi

AU - Teuling, Adriaan J.

AU - Meulenberg, Vicky

AU - Santanello, Joseph A.

AU - Miralles, Diego G.

PY - 2019/5/29

Y1 - 2019/5/29

N2 - The coupling between soil, vegetation and atmosphere is thought to be crucial in the development and intensification of weather extremes, especially meteorological droughts, heat waves and severe storms. Therefore, understanding the evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and the role of land–atmosphere feedbacks is necessary for earlier warnings, better climate projection and timely societal adaptation. However, this understanding is hampered by the difficulties of attributing cause–effect relationships from complex coupled models and the irregular space–time distribution of in situ observations of the land–atmosphere system. As such, there is a need for simple deterministic appraisals that systematically discriminate land–atmosphere interactions from observed weather phenomena over large domains and climatological time spans. Here, we present a new interactive data platform to study the behavior of the ABL and land–atmosphere interactions based on worldwide weather balloon soundings and an ABL model. This software tool – referred to as CLASS4GL (http://class4gl.eu, last access: 27 May 2018) – is developed with the objectives of (a) mining appropriate global observational data from ∼15 million weather balloon soundings since 1981 and combining them with satellite and reanalysis data and (b) constraining and initializing a numerical model of the daytime evolution of the ABL that serves as a tool to interpret these observations mechanistically and deterministically. As a result, it fully automizes extensive global model experiments to assess the effects of land and atmospheric conditions on the ABL evolution as observed in different climate regions around the world. The suitability of the set of observations, model formulations and global parameters employed by CLASS4GL is extensively validated. In most cases, the framework is able to realistically reproduce the observed daytime response of the mixed-layer height, potential temperature and specific humidity from the balloon soundings. In this extensive global validation exercise, a bias of 10.1 m h−1, −0.036 K h−1 and 0.06 g kg−1 h−1 is found for the morning-to-afternoon evolution of the mixed-layer height, potential temperature and specific humidity. The virtual tool is in continuous development and aims to foster a better process understanding of the drivers of the ABL evolution and their global distribution, particularly during the onset and amplification of weather extremes. Finally, it can also be used to scrutinize the representation of land–atmosphere feedbacks and ABL dynamics in Earth system models, numerical weather prediction models, atmospheric reanalysis and satellite retrievals, with the ultimate goal of improving local climate projections, providing earlier warning of extreme weather and fostering a more effective development of climate adaptation strategies

AB - The coupling between soil, vegetation and atmosphere is thought to be crucial in the development and intensification of weather extremes, especially meteorological droughts, heat waves and severe storms. Therefore, understanding the evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and the role of land–atmosphere feedbacks is necessary for earlier warnings, better climate projection and timely societal adaptation. However, this understanding is hampered by the difficulties of attributing cause–effect relationships from complex coupled models and the irregular space–time distribution of in situ observations of the land–atmosphere system. As such, there is a need for simple deterministic appraisals that systematically discriminate land–atmosphere interactions from observed weather phenomena over large domains and climatological time spans. Here, we present a new interactive data platform to study the behavior of the ABL and land–atmosphere interactions based on worldwide weather balloon soundings and an ABL model. This software tool – referred to as CLASS4GL (http://class4gl.eu, last access: 27 May 2018) – is developed with the objectives of (a) mining appropriate global observational data from ∼15 million weather balloon soundings since 1981 and combining them with satellite and reanalysis data and (b) constraining and initializing a numerical model of the daytime evolution of the ABL that serves as a tool to interpret these observations mechanistically and deterministically. As a result, it fully automizes extensive global model experiments to assess the effects of land and atmospheric conditions on the ABL evolution as observed in different climate regions around the world. The suitability of the set of observations, model formulations and global parameters employed by CLASS4GL is extensively validated. In most cases, the framework is able to realistically reproduce the observed daytime response of the mixed-layer height, potential temperature and specific humidity from the balloon soundings. In this extensive global validation exercise, a bias of 10.1 m h−1, −0.036 K h−1 and 0.06 g kg−1 h−1 is found for the morning-to-afternoon evolution of the mixed-layer height, potential temperature and specific humidity. The virtual tool is in continuous development and aims to foster a better process understanding of the drivers of the ABL evolution and their global distribution, particularly during the onset and amplification of weather extremes. Finally, it can also be used to scrutinize the representation of land–atmosphere feedbacks and ABL dynamics in Earth system models, numerical weather prediction models, atmospheric reanalysis and satellite retrievals, with the ultimate goal of improving local climate projections, providing earlier warning of extreme weather and fostering a more effective development of climate adaptation strategies

U2 - 10.5194/gmd-12-2139-2019

DO - 10.5194/gmd-12-2139-2019

M3 - Article

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SP - 2139

EP - 2153

JO - Geoscientific Model Development

JF - Geoscientific Model Development

SN - 1991-959X

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ER -