This paper analyzes the First ISLSCP (International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project) Field Experiment site-average datasets for near-surface meteorology, soil moisture, and temperature; the surface fluxes of radiation, sensible, and latent heat; and the ground heat flux, for the period May 1987–November 1989. The diurnal and seasonal variation of surface albedo for this grassland site are discussed. The coupling of precipitation, soil moisture, evaporation, pressure height to the lifting condensation level, and equivalent potential temperature ( θ E ) on seasonal and diurnal timescales is also discussed. The 1988 data confirm the authors’ result, shown earlier from the 1987 data that over moist soils increased evapotranspiration lowers afternoon lifting condensation level and increases afternoon θ E , suggesting a mechanism for a local positive feedback between soil moisture and precipitation on horizontal scales greater than 200 km. The seasonal cycle of ground heat flux and soil temperature is examined and the authors show that the coupling in the warm months between θ E and soil temperature on seasonal scales is similar over land to the coupling found over warm oceans despite very different controls on the surface fluxes. The boundary layer equilibrium over the ocean is contrasted with the diurnal cycle over land, which is soil moisture dependent.
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: May 14, 1996
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