Articles | Volume 368
06 May 2015
 | 06 May 2015

Atmospheric boundary layer characteristics and land−atmosphere energy transfer in the Third Pole area

Y. Ma, Z. Zhu, P. M. Amatya, X. Chen, Z. Hu, L. Zhang, M. Li, and W. Ma

Keywords: Atmospheric boundary layer characteristics, land−atmosphere energy transfer, Third Pole, TPE

Abstract. The Tibetan Plateau and nearby surrounding area (the Third Pole area) dramatically impacts the world’s environment and especially controls climatic and environmental changes in China, Asia and even in the Northern Hemisphere. Supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and some international organizations, the Third Pole Environment (TPE) Programme is now under way. First, the background of the establishment of the TPE, the establishment and monitoring plans on long-term for the TPE and six comprehensive observation and study stations are introduced. Then the preliminary observational analysis results on atmosphere−land interaction are presented. The study on the regional distribution of land surface heat fluxes is of paramount importance over the heterogeneous landscape of the Third Pole area. A parameterization methodology based on satellite and in situ data is described and tested for deriving the regional surface heat fluxes (net radiation flux, soil heat flux, sensible heat flux and latent heat flux) over the heterogeneous landscape. As a case study, the methodology was applied to the whole Tibetan Plateau area. Eight images of MODIS data and four images of AVHRR data were used for the comparison among winter, spring, summer and autumn, and the annual variation analyses. The derived results were also validated by using the ‘‘ground truth’’ measured in the stations of the TPE. The results show that the derived surface heat fluxes in the four different seasons over the Tibetan Plateau area are in good agreement with the ground measurements. The results from AVHRR were also in agreement with MODIS. It is therefore concluded that the proposed methodology is successful for the retrieval of surface heat fluxes using the MODIS data, AVHRR data and in situ data over the Tibetan Plateau area.