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Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily]

Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily] - Botany Forum

Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily] - Botany Forum


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  #1  
Old 07-11-2004, 08:15 PM
Nick Maclaren
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Default Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily]



In article <[Only registered users see links. ]>,
Dave Poole <[Only registered users see links. ].uk> wrote:

This is something that we have discussed before, but I still don't
understand the mechanisms, and so am asking for clarification and
cross-posting. Here is what I understand the situation to be.

The annual peak intensity of the sun in the UK is perhaps 70% of
the daily, clear sky, peak intensity in the tropics, perhaps less.
The ultraviolet levels are a LOT less, but I haven't been able to
find what they are - let's take them as 40%. And, of course, even
those figures apply to (typically) half a dozen days a year in the
UK - the average daily peak in summer is much lower.

My experience is that 'burning' damage is almost always caused by
those few days, and that the sun levels on a 'Phew! What a scorcher'
day might be 50% higher than on a typical 'hot' day in summer. This
is because our sun levels are primarily controlled by atmospheric
absorption, not sun angle. Is that your experience?

I believe that the problems caused by sun through glass are mainly
surface heating, because it is typically associated with slow air
movement, is much more serious close to the glass than a distance
away, and 1/2" air gap K glass double glazing does not seem to cause
the effect much. Can you confirm or deny this?

I don't have a clue what the primary 'burning' effect on plants is
(i.e. ultraviolet or surface heating) and what the 'tanning' effect
is. But they assuredly exist. Can you clarify those at all?


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2004, 12:56 PM
bae@cs.toronto.no-uce.edu.yyz
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Default Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily]

In article <ccs744$603$[Only registered users see links. ].cam.ac.uk>,
Nick Maclaren <[Only registered users see links. ].ac.uk> wrote:

Glass very effectively absorbs UV so it doesn't reach the plants at
all. So any damage in a closed greenhouse is likely thermal damage.
There are specialty quartz glasses that transmit some UV, but they are
very expensive. Some clear plastics absorb more UV than others, but
most that are produced for outdoor use include additives that intercept
UV in order to delay the breakdown of the plastic itself.

Having inadvertently damaged innumerable transplants over the years
when they got zapped by sun before they hardened off, to me the
damage looks quite different when fresh from that caused by thermal
burning or freezing. In the latter, the whole tissue looks "cooked".
In the former, it seems like chlorophyll is selectively destroyed, so
you get patches of paper white tissue. Of course, in both cases the
tissue later browns and dries out, but the appearance of fresh damage
is distinctive, to my eye at least.

Most of the plants I've seen injured by heat (from fluorescent light
ballasts), freezing (but it was warm when I went to bed!) and sunburn
(it was supposed to be heavily overcast today!) were young tomato,
pepper and cucurbit plants, all of which have thin leaves that are
not flat, so the distribution of the damage on the leaf surface for
sunburn might be different for the flat, thick leaves of Clivia.

Disclaimers: I haven't seen the picture of your Clivia. I'm in Toronto,
Canada, where we have a continental climate somewhat modified by Lake
Ontario, so my gardening practices are no doubt different from those
of the readers of uk.rec.gardening.
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2004, 07:42 AM
Nick Maclaren
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Default Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily]


[ sci.bio.botany restored, in case anyone more knowledgable can
comment. ]

In article <ccv0lq$goq$[Only registered users see links. ]>,
"Franz Heymann" <[Only registered users see links. ]> writes:
|>
|> > Yes. I was referring to the known effect by which glass 'magnifies'
|> > the strength of sunlight, as it affects plants. I believe that it
|> > a reradiation effect.
|>
|> What does that mean?
|> The intensity of the UV per unit wavelength increment is almost
|> negligible compared to that in the yellow-green region of the spectrum
|> of sunlight reaching the surface of the earth. If I understand
|> correctly what you mean by reradiation, namely absorption of UV and
|> reradiating at a longer wavelength, then the absorbed UV will be so
|> littlle that it will not resulet in a measurable increase in the
|> intensity of the botanically active frequencies.

Why did you think that I meant ultraviolet? I didn't. But, on that
topic, ultraviolet is as effective at damaging plant cells as it is
at damaging animal ones, and plants that grow in high ultraviolet
locations have developed protection mechanisms.

No, what I mean is surface heating. This is the effect by which the
surface of an object can become much hotter than either the body of
the object or the air temperature. One point is that glass reflects
long (far) wavelength infrared well, though it transmits short (near),
and that causes the greenhouse effect, but you can get it even with
materials that transmit uniformly.

What can happen is that an object under glass can receive the direct
radiation, and a proportion of the reflected radiation from ALL of
the objects under the glass (i.e. a focussing effect). This does
not have to be a precise focus to double or even triple the total
radiation it is receiving, and explains why the exact location is
an important factor.

Now, it might appear that this would raise the temperature of the
leaf as a whole, but it is not necessarily so. Transpiration will
keep the leaf cool, just as sweating does for humans, but that will
not stop the surface cells between the pores from getting very hot.
It is quite possible that a significant amount of human sunburn
(under dry conditions, when sweat evaporates rapidly) is due to this,
rather than purely to ultraviolet.

Now, I have no PROOF of the above, but it is the only explanation
that I can think of that matches the properties of the effect that
I know about, and of course the biology and physics.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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  #4  
Old 07-13-2004, 09:17 PM
Franz Heymann
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Default Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily]


"Nick Maclaren" <[Only registered users see links. ].ac.uk> wrote in message
news:cd03o8$ajg$[Only registered users see links. ].cam.ac.uk...

[snip]

[On reradiation]

Which of the objects under the glass will receive more reradiated heat
from neighbouring bodies than others?
Are you remembering that the body you have chosen to receive
reradiated heat is itself also reradiating?
Surely as time passes, all the objects in the enclosure will try to
achieve the same temperature?


That is not true. It absorbs infrared radiation.

[snip]

Franz


Franz


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  #5  
Old 07-13-2004, 09:45 PM
Nick Maclaren
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Default Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily]

In article <cd1jh8$naf$[Only registered users see links. ]>,
Franz Heymann <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:

Those that are an approximation to a focus of the glass structure.


Of course.


Er, no. That is FAR too simplistic a model. Remember that there
is an external source of energy, and therefore the most elementary
steady state calculations do not apply.


Please go and look it up. The greenhouse effect is precisely that
the short wavelength infrared emitted by the sun is transmitted,
but the long infrared emitted by the earth is reflected. Yes,
they are both absorbed, too, but everything is relative.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2004, 10:09 PM
Franz Heymann
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Default Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily]


"Nick Maclaren" <[Only registered users see links. ].ac.uk> wrote in message
news:cd1l6k$jt6$[Only registered users see links. ].cam.ac.uk...
the
of
heat

There is no such thing as "focus of the glass structure". Each light
ray exits from the glass at the same angle as that a which it entered.
At worst, it might be displaced sideways parallel to its original
trajectory by a millimetre or two. The intensity distribution is then
essentially the same as it would have been if there had been no glass.

Err, no.


I know that. I am almost right. The short term temperature of each
body in it will depend essentially only on its albedo. The various
plant leaves will have very nearly equal albedos.


I suggest you do that. Glass absorbs infrared quite strongly, which
is why infrared lenses have to be made of rather unusual materials,
many of which are in fact black as far as visible light is concerned.


No. You misunderstand the greenhouse effect quite seriously.


You seem to be unaware of the fact that there is a relationxsship
between the reflection coefficient and the absorption coefficient of
any optical medium. A good absorber is a bad reflector, and glass is
a very good absorber of infrared radiation.

The greenhouse effect arises in fact because the glass absorbs
essentially all the reradiated infrared quite close to the inner
surface of the glass, whose temperature rises as a consequence. Most
of this heat is returned to the enclosed volume by convection and
reradiation.

Franz


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  #7  
Old 07-15-2004, 07:55 AM
Nick Maclaren
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Default Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily]


In article <cd4atu$8mt$[Only registered users see links. ]>,
"Franz Heymann" <[Only registered users see links. ]> writes:
|>
|> There is no such thing as "focus of the glass structure". Each light
|> ray exits from the glass at the same angle as that a which it entered.
|> At worst, it might be displaced sideways parallel to its original
|> trajectory by a millimetre or two. The intensity distribution is then
|> essentially the same as it would have been if there had been no glass.

I am talking about reradiation from inside and, perhaps even more
importantly, other glass. Consider a greenhouse built like:

---
/ x \

A plant at point 'x' is, in some sense, at the focus of the structure.
See below.

|> > >Surely as time passes, all the objects in the enclosure will try to
|> > >achieve the same temperature?
|> >
|> > Er, no. That is FAR too simplistic a model.
|>
|> Err, no.

I suggest that you take a few max./min. thermometers, calibrate
them against each other, and place them at various parts of a
greenhouse (properly shaded from direct sunlight). They won't all
show the same values.

|> > Remember that there
|> > is an external source of energy, and therefore the most elementary
|> > steady state calculations do not apply.
|>
|> I know that. I am almost right. The short term temperature of each
|> body in it will depend essentially only on its albedo. The various
|> plant leaves will have very nearly equal albedos.

Er, no. You have forgotten convection and evaporation. Those can
vary just as much as the albedo.

|> I suggest you do that. Glass absorbs infrared quite strongly, which
|> is why infrared lenses have to be made of rather unusual materials,
|> many of which are in fact black as far as visible light is concerned.

I know that. It isn't the point, which is the RELATIVE transmission
of near and far infrared.

|> You seem to be unaware of the fact that there is a relationxsship
|> between the reflection coefficient and the absorption coefficient of
|> any optical medium. A good absorber is a bad reflector, and glass is
|> a very good absorber of infrared radiation.

In physics, as in life, things are rarely in black and white. While
what you say is true, it does NOT have an albedo of one for infrared
radiation.

|> The greenhouse effect arises in fact because the glass absorbs
|> essentially all the reradiated infrared quite close to the inner
|> surface of the glass, whose temperature rises as a consequence. Most
|> of this heat is returned to the enclosed volume by convection and
|> reradiation.

Ah. Cross-purposes. Yes, that is so. I was referring to the
'greenhouse effect', where reflection is more important.

It is possible that the "plants burning under glass" effect is more
due to reradiation from hot glass that reflection of the reradiated
infrared from plants. I hadn't thought of that one. In particular,
it makes the 'focus of the structure' even more important.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2004, 07:47 PM
Franz Heymann
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Posts: n/a
Default Sunburn [was Re: Clivia/Kaffir Lily]


"Nick Maclaren" <[Only registered users see links. ].ac.uk> wrote in message
news:cd5d9t$ncp$[Only registered users see links. ].cam.ac.uk...
light
entered.
then
glass.
structure.

No. The intensity of reradiation by the glass which is received at
any point inside the greenhouse is proportional to the solid angle
subtended by the glass at that point. The value of this does not vary
all that much from point to point, and it is very small in comparison
with the incident radiation.
Radiation from the glass plays a minor role compared to convective
heat transfer. Remember that the temperature of the glass is only a
fraction of a percent different from that of any other object in the
greenhouse.

try to

Of course not, to the extent that warm air is lighter than cooler air.
I have actually tried it, and there is not much to choose from point
to point, except for a small increase in temperature with height above
the floor

elementary
each
various

Touche. I was considering only radiation effects. That was obviously
wrong.
which
materials,
concerned.

You have lost me there.
of
glass is

I did not say, or imply that.

Most

That is not correct. The greenhouse gases *absorb* the infrared
radiation, they reflect little of it. The heat exchange effect is
still primarily a convective mechanism. Do think of the fact that the
temperature of the greenhouse gases will be less than around 90% of
the temperature at the surface of the earth. Consider what that means
in terms of relative amounts of radiated power per unit area.
You might spare a moment to have a read at the Wikipedia entry under
"Greenhouse effect".


Not so much of this "hot glass" lark! The temperature of the glass is
unlikely to be more than a degree or two above the ambient temperature
in the greenhouse.


No. There is no "focus of the structure".

I have spent a couple of hours playing with a shielded minimax
thermometer in a greenhouse. There were no noticeable hot spots
anywhere in it. There was only a gentle increase of temperature with
distance, amounting to about 2 deg. C between floor highest point.

Franz


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