The improvement of soil thermodynamics and its effects on land surface meteorology in the IPSL climate model
Abstract. This paper describes the implementation of an improved soil thermodynamics in the hydrological module of Earth system model (ESM) developed at the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) and its effects on land surface meteorology in the IPSL climate model. A common vertical discretization scheme for the soil moisture and for the soil temperature is adopted. In addition to the heat conduction process, the heat transported by liquid water into the soil is modeled. The thermal conductivity and the heat capacity are parameterized as a function of the soil moisture and the texture. Preliminary tests are performed in an idealized 1-D (one-dimensional) framework and the full model is then evaluated in the coupled land–atmospheric module of the IPSL ESM. A nudging approach is used in order to avoid the time-consuming long-term simulations required to account for the natural variability of the climate. Thanks to this nudging approach, the effects of the modified parameterizations can be modeled. The dependence of the soil thermal properties on moisture and texture lead to the most significant changes in the surface energy budget and in the surface temperature, with the strongest effects on the surface energy budget taking place over dry areas and during the night. This has important consequences on the mean surface temperature over dry areas and during the night and on its short-term variability. The parameterization of the soil thermal properties could therefore explain some of the temperature biases and part of the dispersion over dry areas in simulations of extreme events such as heat waves in state-of-the-art climate models.