• Regional features and seasonality of land–atmosphere coupling over eastern China

    The land surface and atmosphere are a closely coupled and interacting system, involving large quantities of matter and energy exchange. Soil moisture, as the most important factor in the effect of land on local thermal states, can further affect the general circulation system and, consequently, non-local precipitation. Therefore, the influence of soil moisture on weather/climate is an important aspect of land–atmosphere research. 

    Using reanalysis and model-simulated soil moisture data, Dr. Chujie GAO and Prof. Haishan CHEN, from Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, China, investigated the relationship between soil moisture and evapotranspiration, as well as that between surface temperature and evapotranspiration, by correlation analysis, and explored the spatial distribution and seasonal evolution of land–atmosphere coupling over eastern China. Their findings are published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.

     

    Spatial distribution and seasonal evolution of land–atmosphere coupling strength. The dotted grid points are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. All data have been linearly detrended.

     

    “Extreme dry and wet climatic conditions are not conducive to strong land–atmosphere coupling. Soil moisture plays a decisive role in evapotranspiration only under the conditions of the dry–wet transition regime, which demonstrates strong coupling. In Southwest China, which is a relatively humid area, soil moisture is lowest in spring, resulting in strong coupling at that time of year. However, in the arid/semi-arid regions of North China, the temperature is close to or even below 0°C during the relatively cold months, meaning there is not enough energy to evaporate the soil moisture into the atmosphere. As a result, the strongest coupling exists in summer. We intend to further discuss the possible climatic effects of spring coupling over Southwest China and summer coupling over North China in future work,” explains Dr. Chujie GAO.

     

    Reference

    Gao, C. J., H. S. Chen, S. L. Sun, B. Xu, V. Ongoma, S. G. Zhu, H. D. Ma and X. Li, 2018: Regional features and seasonality of land–atmosphere coupling over eastern China. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 35(6), https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-017-7140-0

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