- Joint Program Report
In this study, the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) is coupled with the Advanced Canopy-Atmosphere-Soil Algorithm (ACASA), a high complexity land surface model. Although WRF is a state-of-the-art regional atmospheric model with high spatial and temporal resolutions, the land surface schemes available in WRF are simple and lack the capability to simulate carbon dioxide (for example, the popular NOAH LSM). ACASA is a complex multilayer land surface model with interactive canopy physiology and full surface hydrological processes. It allows microenvironmental variables such as air and surface temperatures, wind speed, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration to vary vertically.
Simulations of surface conditions such as air temperature, dew point temperature, and relative humidity from WRF-ACASA and WRF-NOAH are compared with surface observation from over 700 meteorological stations in California. Results show that the increase in complexity in the WRF-ACASA model not only maintains model accuracy, it also properly accounts for the dominant biological and physical processes describing ecosystem-atmosphere interactions that are scientifically valuable. The different complexities of physical and physiological processes in the WRF-ACASA and WRF-NOAH models also highlight the impacts of various land surface and model components on atmospheric and surface conditions.