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Structure of the Planetary Boundary Layer and Implications for its Modeling

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
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Abstract

Through the innovative use of laboratory experiments, numerical simulations, and direct measurements, researchers have greatly extended our knowledge of planetary boundary layer (PBL) structure over the last 15 years. This paper reviews some recent findings as they bear on the modeling of both convective and stable PBLS.

While recent reviews indicate that some PBL models used in air quality applications reflect little of our current understanding, there is also encouraging evidence that updating these models can be straightforward and rewarding. The time seems ripe for the development of a new generation of PBL models, and some issues involved in their optimum design are discussed.

Abstract

Through the innovative use of laboratory experiments, numerical simulations, and direct measurements, researchers have greatly extended our knowledge of planetary boundary layer (PBL) structure over the last 15 years. This paper reviews some recent findings as they bear on the modeling of both convective and stable PBLS.

While recent reviews indicate that some PBL models used in air quality applications reflect little of our current understanding, there is also encouraging evidence that updating these models can be straightforward and rewarding. The time seems ripe for the development of a new generation of PBL models, and some issues involved in their optimum design are discussed.

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