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Chris A. McLinden and Adam E. Bourassa


Systematic errors in plane-parallel radiative transfer calculations are examined in the context of limb radiance. Calculation of the multiple-scattering component of limb radiance using plane-parallel geometry can lead to a systematic overestimation that increases with surface albedo and tangent height. It is demonstrated that the cause of this is the overestimate of the surface-reflected radiance component. A simple yet effective correction is introduced that reduces these errors from 4%–8% to <2%. This error source may manifest itself in any application of radiative transfer calculations employing plane-parallel geometry.

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