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Science. 1997 Jan 24;275(5299):502-9.

Modeling the Exchanges of Energy, Water, and Carbon Between Continents and the Atmosphere

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P. J. Sellers is at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Mail Code CB, Houston, TX 77058, USA. R. E. Dickinson is in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA. D. A. Randall is in the Atmospheric Sciences Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA. A. K. Betts is at Atmospheric Research, Rural Route 3, Box 3125, Pittsford, VT 05763, USA. F. G. Hall and G. J. Collatz are at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 923, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA. J. A. Berry and C. B. Field are in the Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. A. S. Denning is in the School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131, USA. H. A. Mooney is in the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. C. A. Nobre is at INPE/CPTEC, Caixa Postal 01, cep 12630-000, Cachoeira Paulista, SP, Brazil. N. Sato is in the Numerical Prediction Division, Japan Meteorology Agency, 1-3-4, Ootemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 100. A. Henderson-Sellers is at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Plenty Road, Post Office Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia.


Atmospheric general circulation models used for climate simulation and weather forecasting require the fluxes of radiation, heat, water vapor, and momentum across the land-atmosphere interface to be specified. These fluxes are calculated by submodels called land surface parameterizations. Over the last 20 years, these parameterizations have evolved from simple, unrealistic schemes into credible representations of the global soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer system as advances in plant physiological and hydrological research, advances in satellite data interpretation, and the results of large-scale field experiments have been exploited. Some modern schemes incorporate biogeochemical and ecological knowledge and, when coupled with advanced climate and ocean models, will be capable of modeling the biological and physical responses of the Earth system to global change, for example, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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