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Journal Articles Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Year : 2023

Daytime-only mean data enhance understanding of land–atmosphere coupling

Zun Yin
Kirsten L Findell
Paul Dirmeyer
  • Function : Author
Elena Shevliakova
  • Function : Author
Sergey Malyshev
Khaled Ghannam
  • Function : Author
Zhihong Tan
  • Function : Author


Abstract. Land–atmosphere (L–A) interactions encompass the co-evolution of the land surface and overlying planetary boundary layer, primarily during daylight hours. However, many studies have been conducted using monthly or entire-day mean time series due to the lack of subdaily data. It is unclear whether the inclusion of nighttime data alters the assessment of L–A coupling or obscures L–A interactive processes. To address this question, we generate monthly (M), entire-day mean (E), and daytime-only mean (D) data based on the ERA5 (5th European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts reanalysis) product and evaluate the strength of L–A coupling through two-legged metrics, which partition the impact of the land states on surface fluxes (the land leg) from the impact of surface fluxes on the atmospheric states (the atmospheric leg). Here we show that the spatial patterns of strong L–A coupling regions among the M-, D-, and E-based diagnoses can differ by more than 80 %. The signal loss from E- to M-based diagnoses is determined by the memory of local L–A states. The differences between E- and D-based diagnoses can be driven by physical mechanisms or averaging algorithms. To improve understanding of L–A interactions, we call attention to the urgent need for more high-frequency data from both simulations and observations for relevant diagnoses. Regarding model outputs, two approaches are proposed to resolve the storage dilemma for high-frequency data: (1) integration of L–A metrics within Earth system models, and (2) producing alternative daily datasets based on different averaging algorithms.
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Dates and versions

hal-04043084 , version 1 (23-03-2023)



Zun Yin, Kirsten L Findell, Paul Dirmeyer, Elena Shevliakova, Sergey Malyshev, et al.. Daytime-only mean data enhance understanding of land–atmosphere coupling. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2023, 27 (4), pp.861-872. ⟨10.5194/hess-27-861-2023⟩. ⟨hal-04043084⟩
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