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Event Archives
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October 2, 2018, Tuesday - On Atmospheric Boundary Layer, Plants and Climate at SAFL

Time: 3 – 4:15 pm

Location: St. Anthony Falls Laboratory2 Third Avenue SW, Auditorium

On Atmospheric Boundary Layer, Plants and Climate

Every two weeks, the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL) hosts prominent figures in environmental science and fluid mechanics. They come from all over the US and the world to share their insight and inspire us to tackle important questions in the field.

On October 2, they will host Amilcare Porporato, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Princeton Environmental Institute. He will discuss recent results on the mixed-layer modeling of the atmospheric boundary layer to investigate the role of surface fluxes due to hydrologic controls by plants and soil moisture. The focus is on the initiation of moist convection taking place when the atmospheric boundary layer reaches the lifting condensation level (LCL) in conditions of high convective available potential energy (CAPE). He’ll show how transpiration regimes of different photosynthetic types (e.g., C3, C4 and CAM) may imply different controls of such occurrences. The daily cloud cycle associated to these processes is then investigated globally using satellite observations and reanalysis data and compared with results from climate models. The work shows that typical afternoon cloud peaks over land are poorly reproduced by most climate models, resulting in biases in the Earth’s energy balance leading to overestimation of radiation in most climate models.