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Spatial and temporal variations of parameters in the radiation balance in an Arctic environment using surface based measurements on different facing slopes

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  • Earth Science


Radiation balance data was collected from the 24th July to the 28th July 2005 and the 5th February to the 9th February 2006 on the North, South, East and West facing slopes of Jesnalvarri, Kevo, Finland (69.46N 26057E).The aim of this study was to examine how the radiation balance is affected by aspect and different meteorological conditions, in summer and winter. This was done by comparing various parameters of the radiation balance, these included solar radiation, net radiation and the albedo. The analyzed data revealed that solar radiation was affected by cloud, reducing the radiation received at the surface by as much as 97%. The clear sky data for the north and south slopes was analyzed against a solar model for both summer and winter. The summer measurements showed a large variance between the north and south slope, these results also differed from that of the model mainly because of localised meteorological factors. The winter measurements showed little difference between the north and south slope and no relationship with the modelled data, further analysis revealed that this was mainly due to the high reflectivity of the snow that was present during the winter. Albedo was measured over vegetation, rock and snow. Vegetation and rock measurements prove to have high absorption levels as albedo's for these surfaces was only between 0.12 and 0.14. Snow however has been shown to have a high reflectivity level and its albedo determined by aspect, where as rock and vegetation proved not to be influenced by aspect. Net radiation in the summer, on the north and south facing slopes indicated a net gain being influenced by solar radiation. The winter results illustrate a net loss, determining by the albedo of the snow. This research has show that the radiation balance seems to play a key role in defining of the characteristics of Jesnalvarri. The study concludes with some recommendations for further studies.

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