Systematic Effects of Randomness in Radiative Transfer

William I. Newman Departments of Earth and Space Sciences, Astronomy, and Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles, California

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Jeffrey K. Lew Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

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George L. Siscoe Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

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Robert G. Fovell Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

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Abstract

In this paper, the authors show how the variability of the water content in individual clouds, the complexity of individual cloud structure, and the lateral and vertical heterogeneity of the distribution of individual clouds can produce systematic effects in the inversion of intensity distributions and the inference of source functions and the vertical temperature profile. This is possibly very significant, even in simple applications of radiative transfer theory where multiple scattering is not very important, in light of the randomness in the water vapor content and geometry associated with the microphysics of clouds. A practical procedure is provided to quantify this effect and to obtain, in certain circumstances, an improved estimate of the vertical temperature profile.

Abstract

In this paper, the authors show how the variability of the water content in individual clouds, the complexity of individual cloud structure, and the lateral and vertical heterogeneity of the distribution of individual clouds can produce systematic effects in the inversion of intensity distributions and the inference of source functions and the vertical temperature profile. This is possibly very significant, even in simple applications of radiative transfer theory where multiple scattering is not very important, in light of the randomness in the water vapor content and geometry associated with the microphysics of clouds. A practical procedure is provided to quantify this effect and to obtain, in certain circumstances, an improved estimate of the vertical temperature profile.

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