Microclimates and earth surface energy exchanges
The previous chapter has focused on regional and local climates and indicated how variable these are throughout New Zealand. This chapter discusses climate at an even smaller scale-that of microclimate. Consideration of site microclimate must begin with an understanding of the radiative and energy exchanges occurring at the surface, as it is these exchanges that result in the thermal and moisture characterises of the site. These energy exchanges were discussed at the global scale in Chapter 4. It is surprising that despite the importance of such surface energetics in determining microclimate, relatively few environments in New Zealand have been studied with a view to specifying their full radiation budget and energy balance. This chapter discusses microclimates of several different surfaces and draws upon New Zealand examples where possible.