Soil moisture and hydrology projections of the permafrost region-a model intercomparison

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This study investigates and compares soil moisture and hydrology projections of broadly used land models with permafrost processes and highlights the causes and impacts of permafrost zone soil moisture projections. Climate models project warmer temperatures and increases in precipitation (P) which will intensify evapotranspiration (ET) and runoff in land models. However, this study shows that most models project a long-term drying of the surface soil (0-20 cm) for the permafrost region despite increases in the net air-surface water flux (P-ET). Drying is generally explained by infiltration of moisture to deeper soil layers as the active layer deepens or permafrost thaws completely. Although most models agree on drying, the projections vary strongly in magnitude and spatial pattern. Land models tend to agree with decadal runoff trends but underestimate runoff volume when compared to gauge data across the major Arctic river basins, potentially indicating model structural limitations. Coordinated efforts to address the ongoing challenges presented in this study will help reduce uncertainty in our capability to predict the future Arctic hydrological state and associated land-atmosphere biogeochemical processes across spatial and temporal scales.


  • Christian G. Andresen
  • David M. Lawrence
  • Cathy J. Wilson
  • A. David McGuire
  • Charles Koven
  • Kevin Schaefer
  • Elchin Jafarov
  • Shushi Peng
  • Xiaodong Chen
  • Isabelle Gouttevin
  • Eleanor Burke
  • Sarah Chadburn
  • Duoying Ji
  • Guangsheng Chen
  • Daniel Hayes
  • Wenxin Zhang
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • University of Colorado
  • University Grenoble Alpes
  • Peking University
  • University of Washington
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • National Research Institute Of Science And Technology For Environment And Agriculture (irstea)
  • University of Leeds
  • Beijing Normal University
  • University of Maine
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Naturgeografi
  • Vattenteknik
Sidor (från-till)445-459
Antal sidor15
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2020 feb 5
Peer review utfördJa