1407 Urban-PLUMBER—Evaluation and Benchmarking of Land Surface Models in Urban Areas

Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Mathew Lipson, UNSW, Sydney, Australia; and C. S. B. Grimmond, M. J. Best, G. Abramowitz, and A. J. Pitman

The first international urban land surface model comparison project (PILPS-Urban) brought a large number of groups to consider model performance at just two sites. In a new project, we draw on the protocol from PLUMBER (PALS Land sUrface Model Benchmarking Evaluation pRoject) by using empirical and simple physical models as benchmarks to assess the urban models.

In this project, surface flux observations from sites across the built/vegetation continuum are considered giving an opportunity to assess the progress made in modelling urban areas over the last decade. Our intent is that not only modelling groups that have explicit urban models, but also groups that model areas with cities without explicitly accounting for them are invited to participate to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches. This will help to establish (1) the relative importance of modelling urban areas versus only having vegetated surfaces and (2) if there is a point in the built/vegetation continuum where the performance of the two types of models is swapped.

The project has two phases: (1) focusing on the main original PILPS-Urban site to re-assess the performance of the models in this suburban environment, and (2) examining multiple-sites across the built/vegetation continuum. Here the protocol for the two phases and some initial results from the start of Phase 1 will be presented. We encourage modelling groups to participate in the project to benefit both the individual groups and the modelling community as a whole.

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