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Title: ARM: Planetary Boundary Layer Height: Radiosonde Retrievals with yearly output

Planetary Boundary Layer Height: Radiosonde Retrievals with yearly output
Publication Date:
DOE Contract Number:
Product Type:
Research Org(s):
Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Archive, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
54 Environmental Sciences; Planetary boundary layer height
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  1. ARM focuses on obtaining continuous measurements—supplemented by field campaigns—and providing data products that promote the advancement of climate models. ARM data include routine data products, value-added products (VAPs), field campaign data, complementary external data products from collaborating programs, and data contributed by ARM principal investigators for use by the scientific community. Data quality reports, graphical displays of data availability/quality, and data plots are also available from the ARM Data Center. Serving users worldwide, the ARM Data Center collects and archives approximately 20 terabytes of data per month. Datastreams are generally available for download within 48 hours.
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  1. Planetary Boundary Layer Height Value Added Product: Radiosonde Retrievals
  2. Planetary Boundary Layer Height Value Added Product: Radiosonde Retrievals
  3. The distribution and transport of aerosol emitted to the lower troposphere is governed by the height of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), which limits the dilution of pollutants and influences boundary-layer convection. Because radiative heating and cooling of the surface strongly affect the PBL topmore » height, it follows diurnal and seasonal cycles and may vary by hundreds of meters over a 24-hour period. The cap the PBL imposes on low-level aerosol transport makes aerosol concentration an effective proxy for PBL height: the top of the PBL is marked by a rapid transition from polluted, well-mixed boundary-layer air to the cleaner, more stratified free troposphere. Micropulse lidar (MPL) can provide much higher temporal resolution than radiosonde and better vertical resolution than infrared spectrometer (AERI), but PBL heights from all three instruments at the ARM SGP site are compared to one another for validation. If there is agreement among them, the higher-resolution remote sensing-derived PBL heights can accurately fill in the gaps left by the low frequency of radiosonde launches, and thus improve model parameterizations and our understanding of boundary-layer processes. « less
  4. Surface temperatures and thickness-derived temperatures from a 63-station, globally distributed radiosonde network have been used to estimate global, hemispheric, and zonal annual and seasonal temperature deviations. Most of the temperature values used were column-mean temperatures, obtained from the differences in height (thickness) between constant-pressure surfacesmore » at individual radiosonde stations. The pressure-height data before 1980 were obtained from published values in Monthly Climatic Data for the World. Between 1980 and 1990, Angell used data from both the Climatic Data for the World and the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) Network received at the National Meteorological Center. Between 1990 and 1995, the data were obtained only from GTS, and since 1995 the data have been obtained from National Center for Atmospheric Research files. The data are evaluated as deviations from the mean based on the interval 1958-1977. The station deviations have been averaged (with equal weighting) to obtain annual and seasonal temperature deviations for the globe, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and the following latitudinal zones: North (60° N-90° N) and South (60° S-90° S) Polar; North (30° N-60° N) and South (30° S-60° S) Temperate; North (10° N-30° N) and South (10° S-30° S) Subtropical; Tropical(30° S-30° N); and Equatorial (10° S-10° N). The seasonal calculations are for the standard meteorological seasons (i.e., winter is defined as December, January, and February; spring is March, April, and May, etc.) and the annual calculations are for December through the following November (i.e., for the four meteorological seasons). For greater details, see Angell and Korshover (1983) and Angell (1988, 1991) « less
  5. Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) heights have been computed using potential temperature profiles derived from Raman lidar and AERI measurements. Raman lidar measurements of the rotational Raman scattering from nitrogen and oxygen are used to derive vertical profiles of potential temperature. AERI measurements of downwelling radiancemore » are used in a physical retrieval approach (Smith et al. 1999, Feltz et al. 1998) to derive profiles of temperature and water vapor. The Raman lidar and AERI potential temperature profiles are merged to create a single potential temperature profile for computing PBL heights. PBL heights were derived from these merged potential temperature profiles using a modified Heffter (1980) technique that was tailored to the SGP site (Della Monache et al., 2004). PBL heights were computed on an hourly basis for the period January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2011. These heights are provided as meters above ground level. « less