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Title: Understanding each other's models: an introduction and a standard representation of 16 global water models to support intercomparison, improvement, and communication
Abstract. Global water models (GWMs) simulate the terrestrial watercycle on the global scale and are used to assess the impacts of climatechange on freshwater systems. GWMs are developed within different modellingframeworks and consider different underlying hydrological processes, leadingto varied model structures. Furthermore, the equations used to describevarious processes take different forms and are generally accessible onlyfrom within the individual model codes. These factors have hindered aholistic and detailed understanding of how different models operate, yetsuch an understanding is crucial for explaining the results of modelevaluation studies, understanding inter-model differences in theirsimulations, and identifying areas for future model development. This studyprovides a comprehensive overview of how 16 state-of-the-art GWMs aredesigned. We analyse water storage compartments, water flows, and humanwater use sectors included in models that provide simulations for theInter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project phase 2b (ISIMIP2b). Wedevelop a standard writing style for the model equations to enhance modelintercomparison, improvement, and communication. In this study, WaterGAP2used the highest number of water storage compartments, 11, and CWatM used 10compartments. Six models used six compartments, while four models (DBH,JULES-W1, Mac-PDM.20, and VIC) used the lowest number, three compartments.WaterGAP2 simulates five human water use sectors, while four models (CLM4.5,CLM5.0, LPJmL, and MPI-HM) simulate only water more » for the irrigation sector. Weconclude that, even though hydrological processes are often based on similarequations for various processes, in the end these equations have beenadjusted or models have used different values for specific parameters orspecific variables. The similarities and differences found among the modelsanalysed in this study are expected to enable us to reduce the uncertaintyin multi-model ensembles, improve existing hydrological processes, andintegrate new processes. « less
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Geoscientific Model Development
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
3843 to 3878
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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