Publication Abstracts

Miller et al. 1994

Miller, J.R., G.L. Russell, and G. Caliri, 1994: Continental-scale river flow in climate models. J. Climate, 7, 914-928, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(1994)007<0914:CSRFIC>2.0.CO;2.

The hydrologic cycle is a major part of the global climate system. There is an atmospheric flux of water from the ocean surface to the continents. The cycle is closed by return flow in rivers. In this paper a river routing model is developed to use with grid box climate models for the whole earth. The routing model needs an algorithm for the river mass flow and a river direction file, which has been compiled for 4°×5° and 2°×2.5° resolutions. River basins are defined by the direction files. The river flow leaving each grid box depends on river and lake mass, downstream distance, and an effective flow speed that depends on topography. As input the routing model uses monthly mean land source runoff from a 5-yr simulation of the NASA/GISS atmospheric climate model (Hansen et al.). The land source runoff from the 4°×5° resolution model is quartered onto a 2°×2.5° grid, and the effect of grid resolution is examined. Monthly flow at the mouth of the world's major rivers is compared with observations, and a global error function for river flow is used to evaluate the routing model and its sensitivity to physical parameters. Three basinwide parameters are introduced: the river length weighted by source runoff, the turnover rate, and the basinwide speed. Although the values of these parameters depend on the resolution at which the rivers are defined, the values should converge as the grid resolution becomes finer. When the routing described here is coupled with a climate model's source runoff, it provides the basis for closing the hydrologic cycle in coupled atmosphere-ocean models by realistically allowing water to return to the ocean at the correct location and with the proper magnitude and timing.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Miller, J. R. and Russell, G. L. and Caliri, G.},
  title={Continental-scale river flow in climate models},
  journal={J. Climate},

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RIS Citation

ID  - mi00700d
AU  - Miller, J. R.
AU  - Russell, G. L.
AU  - Caliri, G.
PY  - 1994
TI  - Continental-scale river flow in climate models
JA  - J. Climate
VL  - 7
SP  - 914
EP  - 928
DO  - 10.1175/1520-0442(1994)007%3C0914%3ACSRFIC%3E2.0.CO;2
ER  -

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