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Goto, Y. (2008). Improved Vegetation Characterization and Freeze Statistics in a Regional Spectral Model for the Florida Citrus Farming Region. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: This study focused on the effective use of a numerical climate model for agriculture in Florida, especially in the citrus farming region of the Florida peninsula, because of the impact of agriculture to Florida's economy. For the analyses of the ensemble, the climate models used in this study were the FSU/COAPS Global Spectral Model and FSU/COAPS Regional Spectral Model (FSU/COAPS RSM) coupled with a land-surface model. The multi-convective scheme method and variable initial conditions were used for the ensembles. Severe freezes impacting agriculture in Florida were associated with some major climate patterns, such as El Niño and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). In the first part of this study, seasonal ensemble integrations of the regional model were examined for the tendencies of freezes in the Florida peninsula during each ENSO or NAO phase is examined. Mean excess values of minimum temperatures from thresholds on the basis of the Generalized Pareto Distribution (GPD), which represents the extreme data in a dataset, were used to analyze the freezes in the regional model. According to some previous studies, El Niño winters obtain fewer freezes than the other ENSO phases. Although the ensemble comprised only 19 winters, the ensemble found variability patterns in minimum temperatures in each climate phase similar to the findings in the previous studies which were based on the observed data. The FSU/COAPS RSM was coupled with Community Land Model 2.0 (CLM2), to represent the land-surface conditions. Although the coupling improved the temperature forecast of the RSM, it still has a cold bias and simulates smaller diurnal temperature changes than actually occur in southern Florida. Among the prescribed surface data, Leaf Area Index (LAI) for southern Florida in the CLM2 is lower than those observed by MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer). In the first experiment of this part, the sensitivity of the temperature forecast to the LAI in the climate models was investigated, by modifying the LAI data in the CLM2 based on the monthly MODIS observations. In the second experiment, newly created prescribed datasets of LAI and plant functional types for the CLM2 based on the MODIS observations were applied to the RSM. The substitution increased the diurnal temperature change in southern Florida slightly but almost consistently.
Keywords: Ensemble Forecast, Climate Model