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M. Baldi, G. A. Dalu, and R. A. Pielke Sr.

precipitation. His hypothesis was supported by an analysis of the rainfall patterns in Israel ( Otterman and Sharon 1979 ; Otterman et al. 1990 ). Moreover, specific humidity in the convective boundary layer is increased for wet surfaces, leading to larger convective available potential energy (CAPE). In addition, model simulations have shown that a realistic vegetated soil has an impact on the formation of drylines, since the vegetation is a source of moisture, and since the heterogeneous distribution of

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Vinodkumar, A. Chandrasekar, K. Alapaty, and Dev Niyogi

1. Introduction The quality of an operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) model forecast depends significantly on the accuracy of the initial conditions specifications and also on the ability of the model to simulate well the atmospheric physical and dynamical processes. Data assimilation methods often provide for improved performance of these NWP models ( Kalnay 2003 ). Data assimilation methods combine available past as well as current meteorological observations in order to improve

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K. W. Oleson, G. B. Bonan, J. Feddema, and M. Vertenstein

by using the internal building temperature as a bottom boundary condition in the solution of the heat conduction equation ( Oleson et al. 2004 ). The total waste heat is generated by roof and sunlit and shaded walls as represented in our urban canyon model: where W roof is the roof fraction. The sum of H traffic and H wasteheat is the prescribed anthropogenic flux. A separate simulation using a rural surface consisting of grassland was used to estimate the heat island intensity. Heat island

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K. W. Oleson, G. B. Bonan, J. Feddema, M. Vertenstein, and C. S. B. Grimmond

important yet less studied aspect of anthropogenic land use/land cover change in climate science. Although currently only about 1%–3% of the global land surface is urbanized, the spatial extent and intensity of urban development are expected to increase dramatically in the future ( Shepherd 2005 ). More than one-half of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, and in Europe, North America, and Japan at least 80% of the population resides in urban areas ( Elvidge et al. 2004 ). Policymakers

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