Nicole Molders and Gerhard Kramm

'Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Geophysical Institute, 2University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, College of Natural Science and Mathematics,

This chapter briefly reviews current state-of-the-art in modeling permafrost in numerical weather prediction models (NWPMs), chemistry transport models (CTMs) and in general circulation models (GCMs) and earth system models (ESMs) for projecting the global climate. Pros and cons of various methods are assessed. Deficits of GCM/ESMs permafrost modeling practice are discussed based on gridded observed soil-temperature data; deficits of the treatment of permafrost in NWPMs and CTMs are elucidated by examples of site-by-site evaluations. In addition, the uncertainty in simulated soil moisture and heat fluxes due to uncertainty in soil physical and plant-physiological parameters is illustrated. The consequences of incorrect simulation of or even neglecting of permafrost processes for simulated weather and climate are discussed. Extreme changes in permafrost distribution and active layer depths, as they are associated with wildfires/fires and their impact on the simulated atmospheric conditions, are addressed as well. Finally the great challenges for improving permafrost simulations (grid resolution, lack of horizontally and vertically high resolved soil data, uncertainty in soil parameters, organic soils) in GCMs, ESMs, CTMs and NWPMs and how to address these challenges is outlined.

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