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Long-wave radiation at the ground Public Deposited

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  • The apparent emissivity of the atmosphere ϵ, defined as the ratio of incoming long-wave radiation to black-body radiation at screen temperature Tₐ, was measured under clear skies in the English Midlands and in the Sudan. At a zenith angle Z the emissivity was given by ϵ(Z) = a + bIn(usec Z) where u is the reduced depth of precipitable water (cm). For a set of 46 scans in England, the mean values of a and b were 0·70±0·05 and 0·090 ± 0·002. Systematic deviations about these mean values could be ascribed to: (i) temperature gradients; (ii) aerosol. The Sudan measurements gave a = 0·67 ± 0·03 and b = 0·085 ± 0·002 consistent with the English results and observations already published. There is some evidence that minimum values of a have increased over the past 50 years. Integration over the hemisphere gives the flux density (Wm−2) of atmospheric radiation as 1·06 σTₐ⁴ − 119 (T in K), where σ is Stefan's constant, or 5·5 Tₐ + 213 (T in °C). Radiation records by Dines and Dines (1927) for overcast skies are analysed to show that the angular distribution is the same as for cloudless skies; that the mean temperature of cloud base at their site was UK below screen temperature; and that when the mean fraction of cloud cover is c, the apparent emissivity is ϵa(c) = (1 − 0·84c)ϵa(0) + 0·84c.
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  • Unsworth, M. H., & Monteith, J. L. (1975). Long-wave radiation a tthe ground. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 101, 13-24.
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  • 101
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  • National Environment Research Council.
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