Land Model

Land Model

Processes Simulated by the Community Land Model 4.0

Climate models also need to account for what's happening on land that influences climate. Land processes play an important role in exchanges of energy, moisture, and carbon with the atmosphere and ocean.

Land models have become far more sophisticated over the last 20 years. In the “old days,” just 20 or 30 years ago, models accounted for things like energy exchange between the atmosphere and land in very simple ways. Land model developers have replaced these simple schemes with more detailed simulations. Among other things, these simulations now account for

  • Energy and water exchange between different types of vegetation,
  • Vegetation effects on wind flow,
  • Interactive ecosystems that evolve with changing climate conditions,
  • A complete water cycle with infiltration, aquifers, groundwater, and surface flow,
  • Water, carbon, and nitrogen exchanges between soil, plants, and atmosphere, and
  • Freshwater runoff into the ocean, which affects salinity, which can then affect circulation.