Atmospheric Solar Heating in Minor Absorption Bands

Abstract

Solar radiation is the primary source of energy diving atmospheric and oceanic circulations. Concerned with the huge amount of time required for computing radiative transfer in whether and climate models, solar heating in minor absorption bands has often been neglected. The individual contributions of these minor bands to the atmospheric heating is small, but collectively they are not negligible. The solar heating in minor bands includes the absorption due to water vapor in the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) spectral region from 14284 cm^-1 to 25000 cm^-1, the ozone absorption and Rayleigh scattering in the near infrared, as well as the O2 and CO2 absorption in a number of weak bands. Detailed high spectral- and angular-resolution calculations show that the total effect of these minor absorption is to enhance the atmospheric solar heating by ~10%. Depending upon the strength of the absorption and the overlapping among gaseous absorption, different approaches are applied to parameterize these minor absorption. The Parameterizations are accurate and require little extra time for computing radiative fluxes. They have been efficiently implemented in the various atmospheric models at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, including cloud ensemble, mesoscale, and climate models.

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