Boundary Layer Observations and Processes

The processes occurring in the lowest few kilometers of atmosphere closest to the Earth's surface drive weather and climate phenomena throughout the world. The right combination of conditions in this 'boundary layer' can influence how much rain will fall during a storm, the direction and distance that pollution is transported, or the strength and path of a hurricane, for example. Many of the important atmospheric, surface, and cloud processes within the boundary layer, particularly in the polar regions, are not well understood and represented in current weather forecasts and global climate models.

What We Do

PSL's Boundary Layer Observations and Processes Division focuses on advancing the understanding of atmospheric boundary-layer processes to promote improved prediction, modeling, and analysis of weather, climate, sea ice and snow, clouds and precipitation, air-sea interactions, and hydrology. We work to improve the characterization, understanding, and capability to predict boundary layer structure, processes, and surface interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, land, and ice through our expertise in remote sensing, in situ observations, boundary-layer physics, and parameterization development. We strive to form a unique bridge between observations, process understanding, and modeling. Applications and research span the marine, land, and frozen water environments including topics related to extreme events, precipitation, renewable energy, sea ice, and linkages between weather and climate.

Research Activities

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Publication Highlight

Air-sea trace gas fluxes: Direct and indirect measurements, By Chris Fairall (PSL) et al., 2022, Front. Mar. Sci. Learn more

A view from the bridge of the R/V Knorr during a storm.


Gary Wick

Gary Wick

Chief, Boundary Layer Observations & Processes Division

Division Staff List