The Atmosphere — Ice — Water Interface: On the necessity of boundary layer modelling

  • Sylvain M. Joffre


As has been emphasised in other chapters in this volume, the role and the fate of the Arctic Ocean area are expected to grow in importance during the coming decades. The following points will be critical:
  1. (1)

    In his search for energy sources and minerals, man has started to develop the high potential wealth of the Arctic. Thus, we must promote climatological, ecological, hydrographical and meteorological studies, to provide knowledge of how nature behaves in this region. Such knowledge must then be used to set recommendations or guidelines for the establishment of industrial plants, inhabited centres, etc. Problems connected with the diffusion of pollutants under temperature inversion conditions are of especial interest.

  2. (2)

    Such developments will in turn activate communications so that, for example, shipping will need precise knowledge of sea-ice situations, ice drift and formation of pressure ridges.

  3. (3)

    There is need also for forecasting snowstorms, fog formation, riming or icing of structures, etc. all of which can be highly destructive in these latitudes.

  4. (4)

    Recent efforts for improving the reliability and the length of weather forecasts (for example, the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, United Kingdom) have prompted the organisation of extensive international experiments, for example, GATE and FGGE (GARP, 1970, 1973), aimed at studying the basic energy source of the atmospheric machine, that is, the equatorial and tropical zones. However, polar regions act as the main energy sink, and are modulated by the extent of sea ice. This side of the problem should be studied equally intensively. Without doubt, the pioneering work of the AIDJEX Group (Maykut, Thorndike and Untersteiner, 1972; Untersteiner, 1974) provides a good start, which must now be extended (AIDJEX, 1977, 1978). It should also be noted that polar meteorology can have a direct connection with mid-latitudes weather (Weiler, 1975; see also the special issue of Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans (1979), 3,2–4).



Mixed Layer Arctic Ocean Atmospheric Boundary Layer Planetary Boundary Layer Richardson Number 
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  • Sylvain M. Joffre

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