The Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS)
Events and Training

The Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS) was developed in the late 1980s for the Canadian Global Climate Model (GCM), in response to an identified need for a 'second-generation' land surface model which would adequately represent the effects of vegetation, snow, and soil on exchanges of heat and moisture with the atmosphere.

CLASS complements atmospheric models, by characterising lower boundary sinks / sources of moisture, energy, and momentum. The model uses physically-based equations to simulate the energy and water balances of vegetation, snow, and soil, with the capability to model organic soils, snow dynamics and sub-grid HRUs. It is thought to have the most sophisticated and physically realistic treatment of snow processes in any operational land surface scheme.

The system has been tested using datasets from a wide variety of landscapes, including those from all eight of the IP3 primary research basins, forced with observational data.

Environment Canada continues to develop CLASS, vetting proposed modifications to the model, and testing upgrades at operational scales to ensure their applicability to regional climate modelling, numerical weather forecasting, and environmental prediction implementations.

Technical Documentation for the Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS) version 3.4 is publicly available here. For further information, please contact the CLASS developer, Diana Verseghy.

Events and Training

MESH/CLASS Training Course (part of the 'Theme 3 - Prediction' Workshop)
16-17 March 2009; Waterloo, ON
Wilfrid Laurier University