GLASS Projects

GLASS projects are listed below, along with contact information for reaching the project coordinators.

Current Projects

Global Soil Wetness Project, Phase 3 (GSWP-3)

Contact: Hyungjun Kim

GSWP3 is an ongoing terrestrial modeling activity that produces a long-term land reanalysis and investigates the changes of the energy-water-carbon cycles through the 20th and 21st century. A wide range of state-of-the-art land surface, hydrologic, and ecological models make up super-ensemble land simulations combining big data, and are evaluated by process-wise model verifications and uncertainty estimations. GSWP3 also plays a role as a liaison, sharing experiment designs and input datasets as a standard for the broader modeling community.


Contact: Dave Lawrence, NCAR

The International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) project is a model-data intercomparison and integration project designed to improve the performance of land models and, in parallel, improve the design of new measurement campaigns to reduce uncertainties associated with key land surface processes. Building upon past model evaluation studies, described below, the goals of ILAMB are to:

1. develop internationally accepted benchmarks for land model performance,

2. promote the use of these benchmarks by the international community for model intercomparison, including coupled and land-only simulations in CMIP6

3. strengthen linkages between experimental, remote sensing, and climate modeling communities in the design of new model tests and new measurement programs, and

4. support the design and development of a new, open source, benchmarking software system for use by the international community.

Improving the representation of land surface processes in climate models requires extensive comparison of model results with observations. This process is difficult and time intensive. Past data-model intercomparisons have strengthened the representation of key processes in land models, but often this information has not been easily accessible for use by other modeling teams or in future intercomparisons. Specifically, there is a large cost in developing the infrastructure to make meaningful model-data comparisons, even when the data are freely and easily available. Further, the development of sophisticated model diagnostics programs—that can fully exploit the richness of large Earth System data sets like satellite or Fluxnet measurements—are outside the scope of any single modeling center. Thus, an important direction for the field is the development of a community-based model evaluation system that is open source and modular, allowing for contributions by many different modeling and measurement teams. 


Contact: Dave Lawrence, NCAR

Human land-use activities have resulted in large changes to the Earth surface, with resulting implications for climate. In the future, land-use activities are likely to expand and intensify further to meet growing demands for food, fiber, and energy. The Land Use Model Intercomparison Project (LUMIP) aims to further advance understanding of the impacts of land-use and land-cover change (LULCC) on climate, specifically addressing the questions: (1) What are the effects of LULCC on climate and biogeochemical cycling (past-future)? (2) What are the impacts of land management on surface fluxes of carbon, water, and energy and are there regional land-management strategies with promise to help mitigate against climate change? In addressing these questions, LUMIP will also address a range of more detailed science questions to get at process-level attribution, uncertainty, data requirements, and other related issues in more depth and sophistication than possible in a multi-model context to date. There will be particular focus on the separation and quantification of the effects on climate from LULCC relative to all forcings, separation of biogeochemical from biogeophysical effects of land-use, the unique impacts of land-cover change versus land management change, modulation of land-use impact on climate by land-atmosphere coupling strength, and the extent that impacts of enhanced CO2 concentrations on plant photosynthesis are modulated by past and future land use.

LUMIP involves three major sets of science activities: (1) development of an updated and expanded historical and future land-use dataset, (2) an experimental protocol for specific LUMIP experiments for CMIP6, and (3) definition of metrics and diagnostic protocols that quantify model performance, and related sensitivities, with respect to LULCC. In this manuscript, we describe the LUMIP activity (2), i.e., the LUMIP simulations that will formally be part of CMIP6. These experiments are explicitly designed to be complementary to simulations requested in the CMIP6 DECK and historical simulations and other CMIP6 MIPs including ScenarioMIP, C4MIP, LS3MIP, and DAMIP. LUMIP includes a two-phase experimental design. Experiments include coupled and land-only model simulations designed to advance process-level understanding of LULCC impacts on climate, as well as to quantify model sensitivity to potential land-cover and land-use change. A second set of experiments focus on quantification of the historic impact of land use and the potential for future land management decisions to contribute to mitigation of climate change.

Local Land-Atmosphere Coupling (LoCo) Project

Contact: Joe Santanello

The LoCo project’s goal is to understand, model, and predict the role of local land-atmosphere coupling in the evolution of land-atmosphere fluxes and state variables, including clouds.

Land Surface, Snow and Soil Moisture Model Intercomparison Project (LS3MIP)

Contacts: Bart van den HurkGerhard KrinnerSonia SeneviratneChris Derksen, Hyungjun Kim and Taikan Oki

The LS3MIP experiment intends to assess the performance of current land surface modules of Earth System Models and quantify land surface feedbacks in a changing climate. Its goal is to provide a comprehensive assessment of land surface-,  snow-, and soil moisture-climate feedbacks, and to diagnose systematic biases in the land modules of current ESMs using constrained land-module only experiments.

Protocol for the Analysis of Land Surface models (PALS) Land Surface Model Benchmarking Evaluation Project, Phase 2 (PLUMBER2)

Contact: Gab Abramowitz

PLUMBER2 is a model comparison experiment that is aiming to try to better understand land surface predictability. It involves analysis of model simulations at 170 flux tower sites by land surface, hydrology and ecosystem models, as well a range of different out-of-sample empirical models used as benchmarks. PLUMBER2 follows on from PLUMBER (Best et al, 2015, Journal of Hydrometeorology) using many more sites, a wider range of land models and empirical model approaches, as well as expanding analyses to include phase lags, variable ratios, information theoretic approaches and error correlation amongst contributing models. All model outputs, observational data and analyses are within the platform, with more detail about the experiment itself in the PLUMBER2 protocol document.

GEWEX Soil and Water (SoilWat) Initiative

Contacts: Yijian Zeng (GLASS panel representative), Anne Verhoef (thermal properties), Dani Or (soil evaporation/hydraulic properties), Matthias Cuntz (SPMIP), Lukas Gudmundsson (SPMIP), Lutz Weihermueller (PTFs/hydraulic properties), Stefan Kollet (groundwater) and Harry Vereecken (PTFs/hydraulic properties, infiltration).

The GEWEX-ISMC* SoilWat Initiative brings together two research communities to improve the representation of soil and subsurface processes in climate models. The soil and groundwater community and the climate modeling community (the latter represented by GEWEX) are working together to identify the most pressing challenges and topics related to this effort.

*International Soil Modelling Consortium

Finished Projects

AMMA Land Surface Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2 (ALMIP2)

Contacts: Aaron Boone and Christophe Peugeot

In ALMIP2, land surface, vegetation, and hydrological models have been evaluated and inter-compared in order to identify key processes that were not well-modeled over West Africa, and to offer guidelines for future model development for all three classes of models. Phase two has dealt with local to meso scales.