Land surface albedo and vegetation feedbacks enhanced the millennium drought in south-east Australia

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/622855
Title:
Land surface albedo and vegetation feedbacks enhanced the millennium drought in south-east Australia
Authors:
Evans, Jason P.; Meng, Xianhong; McCabe, Matthew ( 0000-0002-1279-5272 )
Abstract:
In this study, we have examined the ability of a regional climate model (RCM) to simulate the extended drought that occurred throughout the period of 2002 through 2007 in south-east Australia. In particular, the ability to reproduce the two drought peaks in 2002 and 2006 was investigated. Overall, the RCM was found to reproduce both the temporal and the spatial structure of the drought-related precipitation anomalies quite well, despite using climatological seasonal surface characteristics such as vegetation fraction and albedo. This result concurs with previous studies that found that about two-thirds of the precipitation decline can be attributed to the El Ninõ–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Simulation experiments that allowed the vegetation fraction and albedo to vary as observed illustrated that the intensity of the drought was underestimated by about 10ĝ% when using climatological surface characteristics. These results suggest that in terms of drought development, capturing the feedbacks related to vegetation and albedo changes may be as important as capturing the soil moisture–precipitation feedback. In order to improve our modelling of multi-year droughts, the challenge is to capture all these related surface changes simultaneously, and provide a comprehensive description of land surface–precipitation feedback during the droughts development.
KAUST Department:
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division; Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Citation:
Evans JP, Meng X, McCabe MF (2017) Land surface albedo and vegetation feedbacks enhanced the millennium drought in south-east Australia. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 21: 409–422. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-409-2017.
Publisher:
Copernicus GmbH
Journal:
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Issue Date:
24-Jan-2017
DOI:
10.5194/hess-21-409-2017; 10.5194/hess-2016-439
Type:
Article
ISSN:
1607-7938
Sponsors:
This work was funded by the Australian Research Council as part of the Discovery Project DP0772665 and Future Fellowship FT110100576.
Additional Links:
http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/21/409/2017/
Appears in Collections:
Articles; Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC); Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorEvans, Jason P.en
dc.contributor.authorMeng, Xianhongen
dc.contributor.authorMcCabe, Matthewen
dc.date.accessioned2017-02-09T12:55:03Z-
dc.date.available2017-02-09T12:55:03Z-
dc.date.issued2017-01-24en
dc.identifier.citationEvans JP, Meng X, McCabe MF (2017) Land surface albedo and vegetation feedbacks enhanced the millennium drought in south-east Australia. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 21: 409–422. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-409-2017.en
dc.identifier.issn1607-7938en
dc.identifier.doi10.5194/hess-21-409-2017en
dc.identifier.doi10.5194/hess-2016-439en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/622855-
dc.description.abstractIn this study, we have examined the ability of a regional climate model (RCM) to simulate the extended drought that occurred throughout the period of 2002 through 2007 in south-east Australia. In particular, the ability to reproduce the two drought peaks in 2002 and 2006 was investigated. Overall, the RCM was found to reproduce both the temporal and the spatial structure of the drought-related precipitation anomalies quite well, despite using climatological seasonal surface characteristics such as vegetation fraction and albedo. This result concurs with previous studies that found that about two-thirds of the precipitation decline can be attributed to the El Ninõ–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Simulation experiments that allowed the vegetation fraction and albedo to vary as observed illustrated that the intensity of the drought was underestimated by about 10ĝ% when using climatological surface characteristics. These results suggest that in terms of drought development, capturing the feedbacks related to vegetation and albedo changes may be as important as capturing the soil moisture–precipitation feedback. In order to improve our modelling of multi-year droughts, the challenge is to capture all these related surface changes simultaneously, and provide a comprehensive description of land surface–precipitation feedback during the droughts development.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was funded by the Australian Research Council as part of the Discovery Project DP0772665 and Future Fellowship FT110100576.en
dc.publisherCopernicus GmbHen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/21/409/2017/en
dc.rightsThis work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.en
dc.titleLand surface albedo and vegetation feedbacks enhanced the millennium drought in south-east Australiaen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Divisionen
dc.contributor.departmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)en
dc.identifier.journalHydrology and Earth System Sciencesen
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionClimate Change Research Centre, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionKey Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Science, Lanzhou, Chinaen
kaust.authorMcCabe, Matthewen
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