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Sandy desert Modifications of the surface radiation budget.

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Presentation on theme: "Sandy desert Modifications of the surface radiation budget."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sandy desert Modifications of the surface radiation budget

2 The downward short-wave radiation is a function of the solar zenith angle (day of the year, latitude, hour of the day), the absorption (water, O 3,CO 2, clouds ) and scattering (Raleigh, Mie) in the atmosphere Except for dust, the desert atmosphere is very clear (low water vapor and no clouds). It is common that nearly 80% of the solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere reaches the surface. High K

3 However, the albedo of sandy desert is usually high High K

4 Low L The water content of the atmosphere is low, and clouds are nearly absent. The downward long-wave radiation is low

5 As a result of soil factors, the desert surface is very hot. Since High L The upward long wave radiation is high

6 As a result, the net all-wave radiation Q* is not particularly high. Despite the large solar radiation input, values for tropical deserts (20-30 O Lat.) in mid-summer are comparable with mid-latitude (40-50 O Lat.) values for others surfaces (grass, crop, water) in the same season. 35 N Lat, desert 49 N Lat, short grass

7 Surface energy budget The water available in the soil is very low, so the latent heat flux is almost negligible. The available radiant energy is used to heat the soil and the atmosphere. Q E negligible No water

8 Dry soil and sand have very low ground thermal diffusivity. The soil layer heated is very shallow. By day there is strong heat flux convergence with very strong heating. The surface becomes very hot. By night, there is a strong heat flux divergence, with very strong cooling The surface becomes very cold

9 In the early morning and during night Q H is small because the wind is usually weak (weak turbulence). The radiant energy off-set is mainly counterbalanced by Q G

10 As the day progress, the radiation forcing becomes stronger, and surface temperature much hotter than air. Q H starts to increase, the atmosphere becomes strongly unstable, convective motions mix momentum down to the surface. Surface wind speed increases, which in turn increases Q H. Q G decreases and the off- set of radiant energy is counterbalanced mainly by Q H

11 As a result of lack of moisture and the concentration of heat in the uppermost shallow sand layer, the daytime surface temperature over a desert is high However it decreases sharply with depth in the soil, and with height in the atmosphere.

12 During daytime, the atmosphere is strongly unstable above desert. This leads to many different phenomena, like: Miniature whirlwinds known as “dust devils” Optical effects (mirage, etc.). The strong variations in air temperature close to the surface, induces strong variations in air density, and consequently in the refraction index

13 During night, the strong surface radiative cooling, induces a strong cooling of the atmosphere close to the surface. There is a large diurnal temperature variation (40 C are common). During night-time the atmosphere is strongly stable close to the surface. T1T1 T2T2 T3T3 T 1 << T 2 <<T 3

14 In a desert winds are stronger during day (turbulence mix down momentum from upper levels), and weaker at night (the strong stability prevents the mixing of momentum from above).

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