The structure of the Boundary Layer influences a wide range of atmospheric and environmental issues falling within NOAA’s domain, such as atmospheric circulations, dispersion of airborne hazardous materials, low-level winds and turbulence, initiation of convection, evolution of hurricanes, air quality, regional climate change, and the fate of chemical compounds released into the environment.
Understanding the processes and environmental variables that control surface-atmosphere exchanges, and translating this understanding into more accurate model parameterizations, is a vital research activity that leads to improved weather, climate and air quality predictions.
ARL’s research on the main processes that drive the transport and dispersion of substances in the atmosphere is crucial to improve the quality of our modeling tools. Investigations of the transport and dispersion of chemicals in the atmospheric boundary layer can lead to new insights and improvements in weather modeling.
ARL measures a number of different variables (wind speed, temperature, etc.,) to characterize the atmospheric boundary layer. This data on the surface and near surface weather and climate conditions is used to improve the accuracy of atmospheric models and other forecast and prediction tools.