Remote sensing measurements of land surface radiative properties offer a means to indirectly measure land surface state conditions on a range of scales. A Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land has been developed to convert these state conditions into surface flux densities. Although the concept has a physical basis, the parameters are estimated by empirical relationships. For instance, the relation between near-surface vertical air temperature difference and surface temperature is essential to estimating the sensible heat flux density. The absolute surface energy balance terms are estimated on an instantaneous time basis. Temporal integration of instantaneous surface flux densities is feasible using the evaporative fraction.
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