Solar radiation absorption by CO 2 , overlap with H 2 O, and a parameterization for general circulation models

S. M. Freidenreich, V. Ramaswamy

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Line-by-line (LBL) solar radiative transfer solutions are obtained for CO 2 -only, H 2 O-only, and CO 2 + H 2 O atmospheres, and the contributions by the major CO 2 and H 2 O absorption bands to the heating rates in the stratosphere and troposphere are analyzed. The LBL results are also used to investigate the inaccuracies in the absorption by a CO 2 + H 2 O atmosphere, arising due to a multiplication of the individual gas transmissions averaged over specific spectral widths (Δv). Errors in absorption generally increase with the value of Δv chosen. However, even when the interval chosen for averaging the individual gas transmissions is the entire solar spectrum, there is no serious degradation in the accuracy of the atmospheric absorbed flux (error <3%) and the heating rates (errors <10%). A broadband parameterization for CO 2 absorption, employed in several weather prediction and climate models, is found to substantially underestimate the LBL heating rates throughout the atmosphere, most notably in the stratosphere (errors >40%). -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7255-7264
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberD4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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