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Special Issue "Exploring The Atmosphere's First Mile"


A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. John B. Moncrieff

School of Geosciences The University of Edinburgh Edinburgh EH9 3JN, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +44-131-650-5402
Fax: +44-131-662-0478
Interests: Land–atmosphere exchange of radiatively-active trace gases; Planetary boundary layer modelling (PBL) in response to surface forcing; Lagrangian dispersion models of pollutant transport in the PBL; ground-based remote sensing; Environmental physics of organisms and their heat balance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The title for this special issue arises from a two volume publication first published in 1957 and which discussed the results of one of the first land-surface experiments to explore the interaction between the land surface and the lower atmosphere. Micrometeorology was in its infancy then, but now the study of land–atmosphere interactions has made great advances in our understanding in agriculture, weather and climate forecasting, pollution dispersion and many aspects of global change. After more than 50 years since the first publication of ‘exploring the atmosphere’s first mile’, what have we learned from subsequent experiments and how much uncertainty remains? This is the subject of this special issue. Just getting heat, moisture and momentum fluxes for a few hours was a challenge several decades ago, but our instruments are in a stage of technological maturity now and it is routine to measure fluxes over days, months and years, and not just of heat moisture and momentum, but of many different greenhouse gases and other compounds which are either radiatively or chemically active in the lower atmosphere. Some of our progress to date has been as a result of other land surface experiments to the 1953 one in the Great Plains e.g, FIFE, HAPEX-Sahel and BOREAS and large networks of scientists involved in land–atmosphere interactions now exist, e.g. FLUXNET. Uncertainty in land–atmosphere exchange remains however in linking space and time scales and, crucially, also in non-homogeneous terrain (“we’re not in Nebraska anymore”). This special issue welcomes papers on measurement and modelling in related areas of micrometeorology with a particular emphasis on land–atmosphere interactions. We welcome papers on theory, methodology, modelling and remote sensing, linking the land surface to the lower atmosphere.

Prof. John B. Moncrieff
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • micrometeorology
  • land–atmosphere interactions
  • planetary boundary-layer modelling
  • turbulence
  • greenhouse gas exchange
  • environmental physics
  • ground-based remote sensing
  • evaporation
  • eddy covariance
  • LiDAR
  • carbon balance
  • scaling
  • complex terrain
  • advection

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Role of Surface Energy Exchange for Simulating Wind Turbine Inflow: A Case Study in the Southern Great Plains, USA
Atmosphere 2015, 6(1), 21-49; doi:10.3390/atmos6010021
Received: 29 May 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
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The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is used to investigate choice of land surface model (LSM) on the near surface wind profile, including heights reached by multi-megawatt (MW) wind turbines. Simulations of wind profiles and surface energy fluxes were made using five
[...] Read more.
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is used to investigate choice of land surface model (LSM) on the near surface wind profile, including heights reached by multi-megawatt (MW) wind turbines. Simulations of wind profiles and surface energy fluxes were made using five LSMs of varying degrees of sophistication in dealing with soil–plant–atmosphere feedbacks for the Department of Energy (DOE) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Central Facility in Oklahoma, USA. Surface flux and wind profile measurements were available for validation. WRF was run for three, two-week periods covering varying canopy and meteorological conditions. The LSMs predicted a wide range of energy flux and wind shear magnitudes even during the cool autumn period when we expected less variability. Simulations of energy fluxes varied in accuracy by model sophistication, whereby LSMs with very simple or no soil–plant–atmosphere feedbacks were the least accurate; however, the most complex models did not consistently produce more accurate results. Errors in wind shear were also sensitive to LSM choice and were partially related to energy flux accuracy. The variability of LSM performance was relatively high suggesting that LSM representation of energy fluxes in WRF remains a large source of model uncertainty for simulating wind turbine inflow conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring The Atmosphere's First Mile)

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