• Peer-Reviewed
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences · 2007

On the Climate Impact of Surface Roughness Anomalies

Daniel B. Kirk-Davidof and David W. Keith

Large-scale deployment of wind power may alter climate through alteration of surface roughness. Previous research using GCMs has shown large-scale impacts of surface roughness perturbations but failed to elucidate the dynamic mechanisms that drove the observed responses in surface temperature. Using the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model in both its standard and aquaplanet forms, the authors have explored the impact of isolated surface roughness anomalies on the model climate. A consistent Rossby wave response in the mean winds to roughness anomalies across a range of model implementations is found. This response generates appreciable wind, temperature, and cloudiness anomalies. The interrelationship of these responses is discussed, and it is shown that the magnitude of the responses scales with the horizontal length scale of the roughened region, as well as with the magnitude of the roughness anomaly. These results are further elucidated through comparison with results of a series of shallow-water model experiments.

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