Atmospheric planetary boundary layers: physics, modelling and role in Earth system
Start date: 01 Jan 2009,
End date: 31 Dec 2013
This project aims to systematically revise the planetary-boundary-layer (PBL) physics accounting for the non-local effects of coherent structures (long-lived large eddies especially pronounced in convective PBLs and internal waves in stable PBLs). It focuses on the key physical problems related to the role of PBLs in the Earth system as the atmosphere-land/ocean/biosphere coupling modules: the resistance and heat/mass transfer laws determining the near-surface turbulent fluxes, the entrainment laws determining the fluxes at the PBL outer boundary, the PBL depth equations, and turbulence closures. In this project the first round of revision will be completed, the advanced concepts/models will be empirically validated and employed to develop new PBL parameterization for use in meteorological modelling and analyses of the climate and Earth systems. The new parameterizations and closures will be implemented in state-of-the-art numerical weather prediction, climate, meso-scale and air-pollution models; evaluated through case studies and statistical analyses of the quality of forecasts/simulations; and applied to a range of environmental problems. By this means the project will contribute to better modelling of extreme weather events, heavy air pollution episodes, and fine features of climate change. The new physical concepts and models will be included in the university course and new textbook on PBL physics. This project summarises and further extends our last-decade works in the PBL physics: discovery and the theory of the new PBL types of essentially non-local nature: long-lived stable and conventionally neutral ; quantification of the basic effects of coherent eddies in the shear-free convective PBLs including the non-local heat-transfer law; physical solution to the turbulence cut off problem in the closure models for stable stratification; and discovery of the stability dependences of the roughness length and displacement height.
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