The energy balance in the Ramdas layer

Narasimha, R. ; Vasudeva Murthy, A. S. (1995) The energy balance in the Ramdas layer Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 76 (4). pp. 307-321. ISSN 0006-8314

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On calm clear nights, air at a height of a few decimetres above bare soil can be cooler than the surface by several degrees in what we shall call the Ramdas layer (Ramdas and Atmanathan, 1932). The authors have recently offered a logical explanation for such a lifted temperature minimum, together with a detailed numerical model. In this paper, we provide physical insight into the phenomenon by a detailed discussion of the energy budget in four typical cases, including one with a lifted minimum. It is shown that the net cooling rate near ground is the small difference between two dominant terms, representing respectively radiative upflux from the ground and from the air layers just above ground. The delicate energy balance that leads to the lifted minimum is upset by turbulent transport, by surface emissivity approaching unity, or by high ground cooling rates. The rapid variation of the flux emissivity of humid air is shown to dominate radiative transport near the ground.

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