• Mrinal K Biswas

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Transitions in the surface energy balance during the life cycle of a monsoon season

      T N Krishnamurti Mrinal K Biswas

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      In this observational/diagnostic study, we illustrate the time history of some important parameters of the surface energy balance during the life cycle of a single monsoon season. This chronology of the surface energy balance portrays the differential equilibrium state from the preonset phase to the withdrawal phase. This includes an analysis of the time history of base variables such as soil moisture, ground temperature, cloud cover, precipitation and humidity. This is followed by an analysis of the components of the surface energy balance where we note subtle changes in the overall balances as we proceed from one epoch of the monsoon to the next. Of interest here is the transition sequence: preonset, onset, break, revival, break, revival and withdrawal during the year 2001. Computations are all illustrated for a box over central India where the coastal effects were small, data coverage was not sparse and where the semi-arid land mass changes drastically to a lush green area. This region exhibited large changes in the components of surface energy balance. The principal results pertain to what balances the difference among the incoming short wave radiation (at the earth’s surface) and the long wave radiation exhibited by the ground. That difference is balanced by a dominant sensible heat flux and the reflected short wave radiation in the preonset stage. A sudden change in the Bowen ratio going from>1 to <1 is noted soon after the onset of monsoon. Thereafter the latent heat flux from the land surface takes an important role and the sensible heat flux acquires a diminishing role. We also examine the subtle changes that occur in the components of surface energy balance between the break and the active phases. The break phases are seen to be quite different from the preonset phases. This study is aimed to illustrate the major importance of moisture and clouds in the radiative transfer computations that are central to the surface energy balance during each epoch. These sensitivities (of moisture and clouds) have major consequences for weather and climate forecasts

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