Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Alpine Summer School Course XXIII. Land-Atmosphere Interactions: coupling between the energy, water and carbon cycles

Date: 21 June 2015 - 02 July 2015
Location: Valsavarenche, Valle d'Aosta, Italy

The land surface and the overlying atmosphere are tightly coupled systems. These feedbacks are regulated through the interface: the planetary boundary layer in which intense turbulence occurs. Land-atmosphere interactions are important sources of seasonal climate predictability in several parts of the world. Soil moisture and vegetation are key parameters influencing land-atmosphere interactions in the climate system by modifying the surface energy, moisture and carbon fluxes, and boundary conditions for the boundary layer. Because soil moisture, vegetation, turbulence (boundary layer and moist convection) organize on many different temporal and spatial scales, the study of land-atmosphere interactions has been notoriously difficult. The study of land-atmosphere interactions encompass a wide range of disciplines, which will be discussed during the summer school from soil science, surface hydrology, hydrometeorology, plant physiology, turbulence, convection and atmosphere circulation. As such there is no single type of land-atmosphere interactions but a wide variety of cases embedded within the larger-scale general circulation. There have been considerable developments in recent years on the subject so that an up-to-date summer school presenting a quantitative approach outlining physical principles, and the mathematical basis of land-atmosphere interactions is required. A book, following up on this summer school and using the lecture materials will be published by Wiley in 2016.


The courses will cover: Surface energy, carbon and water balances, soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and plant physiology (motion through the soil, roots, xylem and stomata), surface and boundary layer turbulence, feedback analysis, heterogeneity, shallow and deep convection, extremes, annual and cold season coupling between radiation-turbulence and precipitation, metrics in land-stmohspere interactions, modeling and remote sensing observations.

SENSE participants with an approved TSP will pay a reduced course fee (€ 400 reduction).

Application deadline: 26 April 2015

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