Models are powerful tools for understanding the coupling of physical processes. We illustrate this using averages from ERA-40 for the Madeira River, a southwestern basin of the Amazon, which has a large seasonal cycle with a dry season in the austral winter. Daily-mean land-surface fluxes and state variables can be used to map the transitions of the surface ''climate'' of a model and to quantify the links between the soil moisture, the mean cloud-base and cloud field, the shortwave and longwave radiation …
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