Meteorological modeling of the land-surface–atmosphere interactions: a historical review

Type of instruction






Recommended in

Semesters 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

Short description of Course: The land-surface (non-vegetated and vegetation-covered surface) and the atmosphere are always interacting. This interaction is to be described by a coupled atmosphere/SVAT (Soil Vegetation Atmosphere Transfer) model system. SVAT models are dealing with exchange processes (e.g. transport of momentum, water vapor, carbon-dioxid, metan, ozone or other trace gas) in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system. The interaction could be investigated on macroscale (climatological applications) by running coupled GCM(Global Circulation Models)/SVAT model system to get insight into land-surface modulating effects of climate and vice versa. The interaction could also be investigated at smaller scales, for instance, at scales of weather events by running coupled weather prediction/SVAT model systems. In this case, we could get insight into weather modulated effects of land-surface (e.g. the impact of evapotranspiration on cloud structure and precipitation formation) and vice versa (e.g. N2O or CO2 emission after rainy events).
The development of meteorology made it clear that the role of land-surface–atmosphere interaction processes could not be neglected in the formation of weather and/or climate phenomena. The development of SVAT models is enormous in the last 30-40 years. It was mostly determined by the development of the modeling of vegetation processes. In the course of this programme, I would present the main development’s periods, the thinking-way and the further tendencies in both international and national context discussing the most important studies.

  • Ács, F., Rajkai, K., Breuer, H., Mona, T., and Horváth, Á., 2015: Soil-atmosphere relationships: The Hungarian perspective. Open Geosci., Vol. 7, Issue 1, 395--406. DOI 10.1515/geo-2015-0036

  • Dickinson,R.E., 1995: Land Processes in Climate Models. Remote Sens. Environ., Vol. 51, 27-38.

  • Seneviratne, SI., Corti T., Davin EL., Hirschi M., Jaeger EB., Lehner I., Orlowsky B., and Teuling AJ., 2010: Investigating soil moisture-climate interactions in a changing climate: A review. Earth-Science Reviews, 99, 125-161.

  • Smith KA., Ball T., Conen F., Dobbie KE., Massheder J., and Rey A., 2003: Exchange of greenhouse gases between soil and atmosphere: interactions of soil physical factors and biological processes. European Journal of Soil Science, 54, 779-791.

  • Pitman, A.J., 2003: The evolution of, and revolution in, land surface schemes designed for climate models. International Journal of Climatology, Vo. 23, No. 5, 479-510.