Work package 1 - Flux heterogeneity and boundary layer circulations
In work package 1 it will be quantified to what extend Monin-Obukhov similarity-theory can be applied over heterogeneous terrain.
Work package 2 addresses the consistent simulation of water and energy fluxes at the land surface focusing on agricultural landscapes and their interaction with the evolution and the thermodynamic structure of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL).
Work package 3 - Catchment-scale circulations
As we know, topography and related land-use patterns will result in catchment-scale circulation patterns, for example, valley winds, cold pools, fog and so on. These circulations are not only impacted by the aforementioned effects but also by soil moisture variations which are caused by groundwater flow and convergence along river corridors. In work package 3, we will try to answer how catchment-scale heterogeneity and induced circulations impact boundary-layer, cloud, and precipitation development.
Work package 4 - Impact of ABL Heterogeneity/ Troposphere Coupling on Convection
A key role in the process chain from land-surface variations, Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) heterogeneity and convection is played by ABL-troposphere coupling - a process that occurs on different scales. In workpackage 4 we will provide a better understanding of this coupling, which is important for a better estimation of the occurrence and strength of convection and its influence on heavy precipitation events. This includes the quantification of ABL tropospheric coupling and the connection between coupling and regions of convection initiation and intensity.
An interesting way to study the impact of the land surface on convection in models are land cover change experiments. They allow to investigate the sensitivity of the simulated boundary layer and the development of convective events to the external land surface parameters.
Work package 6 - Detecting and Parameterizing Effects of Land Heterogeneity
Land heterogeneity influences cloud and precipitation initiation and evolution, on the regional and on the climate scale. This is due to its strong local influence on partitioning of fluxes of carbon, water and energy. While computation challenges still exist to explicitly represent this heterogeneity in regional and climate models with finer grid resolution, its effects on boundary layer evolution needs to be better understood and parameterized for coarser grid resolutions currently being used.