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Discussion of the Elsasser Formulation for Infrared Fluxes

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  • 1 Institute of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Arizona, Tucson 85721
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Abstract

The Elsasser and Culbertson (1960) formulation for calculating radiative fluxes has been widely used by meteorologists. Corrections to the Elsasser and Culbertson scheme have been given by Zdunkowski et al. (1966). Unfortunately, both the Elsasser and Culbertson formulation and the Zdunkowski et al. correction contain a few errors.

Elsasser and Culbertson's analytical expression for the evaluation of downward infrared fluxes on the Elsasser chart is incorrect. This introduces no numerical error in using the chart, however, as a fortuitous second error cancels the first exactly.

Zdunkowski's correction to the Elsasser and Culbertson expression for isothermal slab fluxes is proper; errors are made in the derivation of this corrected form, however. Zdunkowski's expressions for upward and downward fluxes from a realistic atmosphere (as opposed to isothermal slab fluxes) are in error.

Abstract

The Elsasser and Culbertson (1960) formulation for calculating radiative fluxes has been widely used by meteorologists. Corrections to the Elsasser and Culbertson scheme have been given by Zdunkowski et al. (1966). Unfortunately, both the Elsasser and Culbertson formulation and the Zdunkowski et al. correction contain a few errors.

Elsasser and Culbertson's analytical expression for the evaluation of downward infrared fluxes on the Elsasser chart is incorrect. This introduces no numerical error in using the chart, however, as a fortuitous second error cancels the first exactly.

Zdunkowski's correction to the Elsasser and Culbertson expression for isothermal slab fluxes is proper; errors are made in the derivation of this corrected form, however. Zdunkowski's expressions for upward and downward fluxes from a realistic atmosphere (as opposed to isothermal slab fluxes) are in error.

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