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Boundary Layer and Surface Exchange Research and Development
What We Do
A schematic of the Troposphere, showing the area of the Planetary Boundary Layer. Source
We use state-of-the-art methods and techniques, and develop new ones as necessary, to better understand and model the atmospheric boundary layer (the portion of the atmosphere closest to and most influenced by the Earth's surface). Our work improves the prediction of surface and near- surface weather and climate conditions. The primary boundary layer research areas we focus on are DCNet, Extreme Turbulence Probe, and the Surface Energy Budget Network.
Why It Is Important
The boundary layer is the mixed layer of the atmosphere closest to the ground, basically where people live, work, and play. As such, it has a significant influence on a number of important atmospheric and environmental issues. These include the dispersion of airborne hazardous materials, low-level winds and turbulence which affect wind energy production and transportation, initiation of convection which affects aviation, evolution of hurricanes, air quality, regional climate changes, the transfer of compounds between land/water and the atmosphere, and the behavior of wildland and agricultural fires and the smoke they produce. ARL's boundary layer and surface exchange research and development provides essential information and tools for improving the characterization and prediction of those issues. These benefits are driven by improved understanding of key boundary layer processes and model algorithms and analysis of long-term trends.
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