Towards a public, standardized, diagnostic benchmarking system for land surface models
Abstract. This work examines different conceptions of land surface model benchmarking and the importance of internationally standardized evaluation experiments that specify data sets, variables, metrics and model resolutions. It additionally demonstrates how essential the definition of a priori expectations of model performance can be, based on the complexity of a model and the amount of information being provided to it, and gives an example of how these expectations might be quantified. Finally, the Protocol for the Analysis of Land Surface models (PALS) is introduced – a free, online land surface model benchmarking application that is structured to meet both of these goals.