Department of Meteorology

REMOTE SENSING: Surface Energy Balance

Dr. Hugo Berbery is leading a research focus on surface properties in numerical simulation models. The representation of surface processes in numerical models is critical in studies of climate change and variability; likewise, seasonal prediction relies on adequate characterization of land surface-atmosphere energy exchanges.

Dr. Berbery is examining the surface energy balances of operational models and evaluating them against ground and satellite information. His research is in close collaboration with respective Operational Centers, to help in their development of surface parameterizations.

The figure above presents a comparison of downward shortwave radiation at the surface as estimated from satellites and the following two operational models: National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) ETA model and the Canadian Meteorological Centre Global Multiscale Environmental (GEM) model. The Eta model seems to have an excess of downward shortwave radiation at the surface, which has to be compensated by other energy related processes. Further details on this subject can be found in:

Berbery, E. H., K. E. Mitchell, S. Benjamin, T. Smirnova, H. Ritchie, R. Hogue, and E. Radeva, 1999: Assessment of land surface energy budgets from regional and global models. J. Geophys. Res., 104, D16, 19,329-19,348.

More information can also be found at Dr. Berbery's GCIP page