A considerable fraction (>40%) of the outgoing longwave radiation escapes from the Earth's atmosphere-surface system within a region of the spectrum known as the far-infrared (wave-numbers less than 650 cm-1). Dominated by the line and continuum spectral features of the pure rotation band of water vapor, the far-infrared has a strong influence upon the radiative balance of the troposphere, and hence upon the climate of the Earth. Despite the importance of the far-infrared contribution, however, very few spectrally resolved observations have been made of the atmosphere for wave-numbers less than 650 cm-1. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), under its Instrument Incubator Program (IIP), is currently developing technology that will enable routine, space-based spectral measurements of the far-infrared. As part of NASA's IIP, the Far-Infrared Spectroscopy of the Troposphere (FIRST) project is developing an instrument that will have the capability of measuring the spectrum over the range from 100 to 1000 cm-1 at a resolution of 0.6 cm-1. To properly analyze the data from the FIRST instrument, accurate radiative transfer models will be required. Unlike the mid-infrared, however, no inter-comparison of codes has been performed for the far-infrared. Thus, in parallel with the development of the FIRST instrument, an investigation has been undertaken to inter-compare radiative transfer models for potential use in the analysis of far-infrared measurements. The initial phase of this investigation has focused upon the inter-comparison of six distinct line-by-line models. The results from this study have demonstrated remarkably good agreement among the models, with differences being of order 0.5%, thereby providing a high measure of confidence in our ability to accurately compute spectral radiances in the far-infrared.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics