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Water 2016, 8(10), 450; doi:10.3390/w8100450

Evaluation of Radiation Components in a Global Freshwater Model with Station-Based Observations

Institute of Physical Geography, Goethe-University, Frankfurt D-60438, Germany
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Frankfurt D-60325, Germany
Center of Research and Development, German Meteorological Service, Offenbach D-63067, Germany
Pyrenean Institute of Ecology, Spanish National Research Council, Zaragoza ES-50059, Spain
Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Goethe-University, Frankfurt D-60438, Germany
Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich CH-8092, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt
Received: 3 July 2016 / Revised: 29 September 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [8005 KB, uploaded 14 October 2016]   |  


In many hydrological models, the amount of evapotranspired water is calculated using the potential evapotranspiration (PET) approach. The main driver of several PET approaches is net radiation, whose downward components are usually obtained from meteorological input data, whereas the upward components are calculated by the model itself. Thus, uncertainties can be large due to both the input data and model assumptions. In this study, we compare the radiation components of the WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model, driven by two meteorological input datasets and two radiation setups from ERA-Interim reanalysis. We assess the performance with respect to monthly observations provided by the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) and the Global Energy Balance Archive (GEBA). The assessment is done for the global land area and specifically for energy/water limited regions. The results indicate that there is no optimal radiation input throughout the model variants, but standard meteorological input datasets perform better than those directly obtained by ERA-Interim reanalysis for the key variable net radiation. The low number of observations for some radiation components, as well as the scale mismatch between station observations and 0.5° × 0.5° grid cell size, limits the assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: global hydrological modeling; radiation; validation with station observations; BSRN; GEBA; uncertainty global hydrological modeling; radiation; validation with station observations; BSRN; GEBA; uncertainty

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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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Müller Schmied, H.; Müller, R.; Sanchez-Lorenzo, A.; Ahrens, B.; Wild, M. Evaluation of Radiation Components in a Global Freshwater Model with Station-Based Observations. Water 2016, 8, 450.

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