Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (5): 893-905.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201805009

• Climate Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A review on the fully coupled atmosphere-hydrology simulations

ZHAN Chesheng1(),NING Like2(),ZOU Jing3,HAN Jian1,4   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
    3. Institute of Oceanographic Instrumentation, Shandong Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266001, Shandong, China
    4. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2017-06-12 Online:2018-05-03 Published:2018-05-03
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China, No.2017YFA0603702;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571019, No.41701023


Terrestrial hydrological process is an essential and very weak link in the global/regional climate models. In this paper, the development of research on the coupled atmosphere-hydrology simulations was analyzed, also the research trends and hotspots were identified by scientific literature analysis, and the challenges and opportunities in the coupled atmosphere-hydrology simulations are reviewed and summarized. The land surface processes in most of the existing climate models are mainly designed by the one-dimensional vertical structure, which lacks a detailed description of the two-dimensional hydrologic processes over specific basins, especially the parameterization of human activities on the underlying surface. In order to overcome the poor simulation on watershed hydrological processes derived by climate models, numerous studies were performed to investigate the feedbacks between hydrological processes and atmospheric processes, through coupling hydrological models with regional climate models. At present, improving the representation of hydrologic processes in land surface models and the development of global hydrological models have been the fundamental of investigating the feedbacks between terrestrial hydrology and atmosphere. Furthermore, the research on the coupling between hydrology and atmosphere has developed from the one-way coupling to the two-way coupling (also called fully coupled atmosphere-hydrology simulations). However, these studies on the fully coupled atmosphere-hydrology simulations were still immature and the fully coupled model needed further improvements, including further research on the matching methods of model coupling and system stability, research on effective scale transfer schemes, improvements on parameterization schemes and evaluation on parameter uncertainties, research on effective parameter transfer methods and improvements on regional applicability, as well as the coupled simulation of large-scale terrestrial hydrology and atmosphere at hyper-resolution with acceptable accuracy, and etc.

Key words: land surface hydrology, regional climate model, fully coupled atmosphere-hydrology, water cycle, research review