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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2018-121
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2018-121
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 02 Jan 2019

Review article | 02 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Merits of novel high-resolution estimates and existing long-term estimates of humidity and incident radiation in a complex domain

Helene Birkelund Erlandsen1,2,3, Lena Merete Tallaksen2, and Jørn Kristiansen3 Helene Birkelund Erlandsen et al.
  • 1Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, Oslo, Norway
  • 2University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 3The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway

Abstract. To provide better and more robust estimates of evaporation and snow-melt in a changing climate, hydrological and ecological modelling practices are shifting towards solving the surface energy balance. In addition to precipitation and near-surface temperature (T2), which often is available at high resolution by national providers, high quality estimates of 2-meter humidity, surface incident shortwave (SW ↓) and longwave (LW ↓) radiation are also required. Novel, gridded estimates of humidity and incident radiation are constructed using a methodology similar to that used in the development of the WATCH forcing data, however, a national 1×1km gridded, observation-based T2 data is consulted in the downscaling rather than the 0.5×0.5 degree CRU T2 data. The novel dataset, HySN, is archived in Zenodo (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1970170). The HySN estimates, existing estimates from reanalysis data, post-processed reanalysis data, and VIC-type forcing data are compared with observations from the Norwegian mainland between 1982 and 2000. Humidity measurements from 84 stations are used, and, by employing quality control routines and including agricultural stations, SW ↓ observations from 10 stations are made available. Meanwhile, only two stations have observations of LW ↓. Vertical gradients, differences when compared at common altitudes, daily correlations, sensitivities to air mass type, and, where possible, trends and geographical gradients in seasonal means are assessed. At individual stations differences in seasonal means from the observations are as large as 7°C for Td, 62Wm−2 for SW ↓, and 24Wm−2 for LW ↓. Most models overestimate SW ↓, and underestimate LW ↓. Horizontal resolution is not a predictor of the model's efficiency. Daily correlation is better captured in the products based on newer reanalysis data. Certain model estimates show different dependencies on geographical features, diverging trends, or a different sensitivity to air mass type than the observations.

Helene Birkelund Erlandsen et al.
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Helene Birkelund Erlandsen et al.
Data sets

HySN Data set H. B. Erlandsen https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1970170

Model code and software

HySN H. B. Erlandsen https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1435555

Helene Birkelund Erlandsen et al.
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Latest update: 18 Jan 2019
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Short summary
Robust estimates of runoff, snow, and evaporation rely on high quality estimates of incoming solar and thermal radiation at the surface, and near surface humidity. Taking advantage of the physical soundness of a numerical weather reanalyisis and the preciseness and spatial resolution of a national gridded temperature data set, new estimates of these variables are presented for Norway. Further, existing data sets and observations are compared, emphasising daily correlation, trends, and gradients.
Robust estimates of runoff, snow, and evaporation rely on high quality estimates of incoming...
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