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    Dr. Paul Bartlett

    Environment and Climate Change Canada

      Research areas

      A primary contribution to the CCRN is the provision of baseline simulations from seven CCRN observatories, using the Canadian Land Surface Scheme with observed vegetation characteristics. This modelled data record contains a complete annual cycle at most sites in order to provide CCRN researchers with a set of baseline model input and benchmark output files for verifying initial simulations to ensure that proper model output is being produced.

      Our Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS) has been found to underestimate the winter albedo in the boreal forest, in contrast to the pattern of overestimated winter albedo in many land surface schemes. This was investigated with respect to the simulation of intercepted snow, using observed meteorological datasets and photographs of forest canopies within the CCRN domain. New parameterizations were developed (Bartlett and Verseghy, 2015) governing the albedo of snow-covered canopy, the relationship between the mass of intercepted snow and coverage of the canopy by snow, and unloading of canopy snow based on weather conditions. This led to a related investigation to determine the cause of the large albedo spread in the boreal forest in CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) models in winter. The results (Wang et al. 2016) showed that models with particularly large positive winter albedo biases also showed incorrect vegetation types and/or a low bias in the simulated leaf area index, which resulted in an underestimation of the masking of the snowpack by vegetation in these models.

      Support was provided for the use of CLASS to Dr. A. Berg and colleagues at the University of Guelph to investigate methods of assimilating soil moisture and brightness temperature retrieved from the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite into CLASS in order to improve soil moisture in simulations. Support was also provided for the use of CLASS-CTEM (CLASS coupled with the Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model) to Dr. A. Ireson and colleagues at the University of Saskatchewan, beginning with an investigation into the simulation of moisture stress at forests in central Saskatchewan. The collaborative relationship established has led to ongoing work in the CCRN domain into the effects of the scale of meteorological forcing on the simulated albedo and snowpack properties as part of the ESM-SnowMIP (Earth System Model – Snow Model Intercomparison Project).