Opened 3 years ago

Closed 8 months ago

Last modified 8 months ago

#2543 closed defect (wontfix)

vegetation Leaf Area Index (LAI) for each Plant Functional Type (PFT): December anomaly

Reported by: dhertwig Owned by: pmcguire
Component: Land Surface Modelling Keywords: LA, Leaf Area Index, ancillary, PFT, Plant Functional Type, MODIS, December anomaly
Cc: Platform:
UM Version:


Denise Hertwig and Sue Grimmond reported that the standard veg.func ancillary file for Leaf Area Index (LAI) shows anomalously high values in December in southern England. One might expect the LAI to be high in the summer and low in the winter. The ancillary file shows LAI values that are high in the summer and then going down in the fall, prior to a second large enhancement in LAI in December. They report this for the PRIMAVERA HadGEM3 (coupled) ancillary file.

See the attached files from Denise.

With my suggestion, they have verified this December anomaly over much of Europe by comparing the November LAI with the December LAI with ncview.

The JULES standalone ancillary file for veg.func has header information that says that Heather Ashton (now Rumbold) created the ancillary in 2017. I found her 2009 PhD dissertation/thesis on JULES related topics, wherein in Figs 3.11-3.12 she shows plots of the seasonal variation of the MODIS-derived LAI over southern England and over France. These plots show similar December anomalies to those that Denise and Sue have observed.
Her thesis is at:
She describes the procedure that she used in 2009 to make LAI for each Plant Functional Type (PFT). This PFT-dependent LAI is derived from the PFT-independent MODIS measurements of LAI by 'green-ness', weighting for each PFT by fixed abundance.

Attachments (3)

LAI_single_gridbox.png (181.2 KB) - added by pmcguire 3 years ago.
LAI_monthly_BT.png (211.9 KB) - added by pmcguire 3 years ago.
LAI_monthly_C3.png (214.1 KB) - added by pmcguire 3 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (7)

Changed 3 years ago by pmcguire

Changed 3 years ago by pmcguire

Changed 3 years ago by pmcguire

comment:1 Changed 3 years ago by pmcguire

  • Status changed from new to assigned

comment:2 Changed 3 years ago by pmcguire

We're continuing to work on this.
I was able to get the original MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI) data (provided by Boston University) from Samantha Pullen at the Met Office, as well as IDL reading routines. I was able to compare the November and December data for each of the years 2005-2009 in this source data for MODIS. The anomaly in December does seem to be present in that dataset in southern England.

George Meachim was able to compare a more recently-created version of this 2005-2009 MODIS LAI data (provided by GLASS?) for the different months of the year, and the anomaly does not seem to be there for December in southern England.

Maybe we need to update the data source?

comment:3 Changed 8 months ago by pmcguire

  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from assigned to closed

comment:4 Changed 8 months ago by pmcguire

  • Cc d.hertwig@… removed
  • Reporter changed from pmcguire to dhertwig
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