The Sun drives the atmospheric heat engine by warming the terrestrial surface which in turn warms the atmosphere above. Climate, therefore, is significantly controlled by complex interaction of energy flows near and at the terrestrial surface. When man alters this delicate energy balance by his use of the land, he may alter his climatic environment as well. Land use climatology has emerged as a discipline in which these energy interactions are studied; first, by viewing the spatial distributions of their surface manifestations, and second, by analyzing the energy exchange processes involved. Two new tools for accomplishing this study are presented: one that can interpret surface energy exchange processes from space, and another that can simulate the complex of energy transfers by a numerical simulation model. Use of a satellite-borne multispectral scanner as an imaging radiometer was made feasible by devising a gray-window model that corrects measurements made in space for the effects of the atmosphere in the optical path. The simulation model is a combination of mathematical models of energy transfer processes at or near the surface. Integration of these two analytical approaches was applied to the Washington-Baltimore area to coincide with the August 5, 1973, Skylab 3 overpass which provided data for constructing maps of the energy characteristics of the Earth's surface. The use of the two techniques provides insights into the relationship of climate to land use and land cover and in predicting alterations of climate that may result from alterations of the land surface.
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The influences of land use and land cover on climate; an analysis of the Washington-Baltimore area that couples remote sensing with numerical simulation