Articles | Volume 5, issue 1
Methods for assessment of models
11 Jan 2012
Methods for assessment of models |  | 11 Jan 2012

Use of agricultural statistics to verify the interannual variability in land surface models: a case study over France with ISBA-A-gs

J.-C. Calvet, S. Lafont, E. Cloppet, F. Souverain, V. Badeau, and C. Le Bas

Abstract. In order to verify the interannual variability of the above-ground biomass of herbaceous vegetation simulated by the ISBA-A-gs land surface model, within the SURFEX modelling platform, French agricultural statistics for C3 crops and grasslands were compared with the simulations for the 1994–2008 period. While excellent correlations are obtained for grasslands, representing the interannual variability of crops is more difficult. It is shown that, the Maximum Available soil Water Capacity (MaxAWC) has a large influence on the correlation between the model and the agricultural statistics. In particular, high values of MaxAWC tend to reduce the impact of the climate interannual variability on the simulated biomass. Also, high values of MaxAWC allow the simulation of a negative trend in biomass production, in relation to a marked warming trend, of about 0.12 Kyr−1 on average, affecting the daily maximum air temperature during the growing period (April–June). This trend is particularly acute in Northern France. The estimates of MaxAWC for C3 crops and grasslands, currently used in SURFEX, are about 129 mm and do not vary much. Therefore, more accurate grid-cell values of this parameter are needed.