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Author ORCID ID is 0000000341184590
Full Text and Citations
  1. Anthropogenic climate change will continue to diminish the unique role that mountains perform as natural reservoirs and alter long-held assumptions of water management. Climate models are important tools to help constrain uncertainty and understand processes that shape this decline. To ensure that climate model estimates provide stakeholder relevant information, the formulation of multimetric model evaluation frameworks informed by stakeholder interactions are critical. In this study, we present one such multimetric framework to evaluate snowpack data sets in the California Sierra Nevada: the snow water equivalent (SWE) triangle. SWE triangle metrics help to describe snowpack characteristics associated with total water volumemore » buildup, peak water availability, and the rate of water release. This approach highlights compensating errors that would not be reflected in conventional large-scale spatiotemporal analysis. To test our multimetric evaluation framework, we evaluate several publicly available snow products including the Sierra Nevada Snow Reanalysis, Livneh (L15), and the North American Land Data Assimilation System version 2 data sets. We then evaluate regional climate model skill within the North American Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment. All data sets analyzed show variation across the various SWE triangle metrics, even within observationally constrained snow products. This spread was especially shown in spring season melt rates. Melt rate biases were prevalent throughout most regional climate model simulations, regardless of snow accumulation dynamics, and will need to be addressed to improve their utility for water stakeholders.« less
  2. Mountains are natural dams that impede atmospheric moisture transport and water towers that cool, condense, and store precipitation. They are essential in the western United States where precipitation is seasonal, and snowpack is needed to meet water demand. With anthropogenic climate change increasingly threatening mountain snowpack, there is a pressing need to better understand the driving climatological processes. However, the coarse resolution typical of modern global climate models renders them largely insufficient for this task, and signals a need for an advanced strategy. This paper continues the assessment of variable-resolution in the Community Earth System Model (VR-CESM) in modeling mountainmore » hydroclimatology to understand the role of grid-spacing at 55, 28, 14, and 7 km and microphysics, specifically the Morrison and Gettelman (2008, MG1, scheme versus the Gettelman and Morrison (2015, MG2, scheme. Eight VR-CESM simulations were performed from 1999 to 2015 with the F_AMIP_CAM5 component set, which couples the atmosphere-land models and prescribes ocean data. Refining horizontal grid-spacing from 28 to 7 km with the MG1 scheme did not improve the simulated mountain hydroclimatology. Substantial improvements occurred with the use of MG2 at grid-spacings ≤28 km compared to MG1 as shown with subsequent statistics. Average SWE bias diminished by 9.4X, 4.9X, and 3.5X from 55 to 7 km. The range in minimum (maximum) DJF spatial correlations increased by 0.1–0.2 in both precipitation and SWE. Mountain windward/leeward distributions and elevation profiles improved across hydroclimate variables, however not always with model resolution alone. Disconcertingly, all VR-CESM simulations exhibited a systemic mountain cold bias that worsened with elevation and will require further examination.« less

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