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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1273; doi:10.3390/rs9121273

Improved Atmospheric Modelling of the Oasis-Desert System in Central Asia Using WRF with Actual Satellite Products

1,2,3,4,5
,
1,3,* , 2,4,5
,
1,2,3,4,5
and
1,2,3,4,5
1
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 818, South Beijing Road, Urumqi 830011, China
2
Department of Geography, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, S8, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
3
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
Sino-Belgian Joint Laboratory for Geo-Information, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Urumqi 830011, China
5
Sino-Belgian Joint Laboratory for Geo-Information, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, S8, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land-Atmosphere Interactions)
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Abstract

Because of the use of outdated terrestrial datasets, regional climate models (RCMs) have a limited ability to accurately simulate weather and climate conditions over heterogeneous oasis-desert systems, especially near large mountains. Using actual terrestrial datasets from satellite products for RCMs is the only possible solution to the limitation; however, it is impractical for long-period simulations due to the limited satellite products available before 2000 and the extremely time- and labor-consuming processes involved. In this study, we used the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with observed estimates of land use (LU), albedo, Leaf Area Index (LAI), and green Vegetation Fraction (VF) datasets from satellite products to examine which terrestrial datasets have a great impact on simulating water and heat conditions over heterogeneous oasis-desert systems in the northern Tianshan Mountains. Five simulations were conducted for 1–31 July in both 2010 and 2012. The decrease in the root mean squared error and increase in the coefficient of determination for the 2 m temperature (T2), humidity (RH), latent heat flux (LE), and wind speed (WS) suggest that these datasets improve the performance of WRF in both years; in particular, oasis effects are more realistically simulated. Using actual satellite-derived fractional vegetation coverage data has a much greater effect on the simulation of T2, RH, and LE than the other parameters, resulting in mean error correction values of 62%, 87%, and 92%, respectively. LU data is the primary parameter because it strongly influences other secondary land surface parameters, such as LAI and albedo. We conclude that actual LU and VF data should be used in the WRF for both weather and climate simulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: MODIS; Weather Research and Forecasting model; oasis-desert system; oasis effects; Northern Tianshan Mountains; Central Asia MODIS; Weather Research and Forecasting model; oasis-desert system; oasis effects; Northern Tianshan Mountains; Central Asia
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, M.; Luo, G.; De Maeyer, P.; Cai, P.; Kurban, A. Improved Atmospheric Modelling of the Oasis-Desert System in Central Asia Using WRF with Actual Satellite Products. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1273.

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