A Survey of Parameterization Techniques for the Planetary Boundary Layer in Atmospheric Circulation Models.

by Chandrakant M. Bhumralkar

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Atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs) are increasingly used as research tools to test hypotheses and predict climatic variations. A significant phase of that research is the attempt to understand to what extent planetary boundary layer (BL) turbulent processes govern the evolutions of large-scale processes. Parameterization of BL turbulent fluxes in GCMs is one of the most difficult problems confronting atmospheric scientists. The report surveys the parameterization techniques most commonly used in GCMs; these techniques may be based on the so-called K-theory or on similarity theory. The report also discusses special problems in treating the BL in low latitudes as well as over oceans. Realistic determination of BL height is the subject of a separate chapter, which concludes that a rate equation is the most appropriate technique. Existing BL theories are useful for regional or other restricted studies, but are likely to be inadequate for global models. 84 pp. Ref. (See also R-1511, R-1654.)

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