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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Short summary
Satellite measurements of atmospheric composition often rely on computer tools known as radiative transfer models to model the propagation of sunlight within the atmosphere. Here we have performed a detailed inter-comparison of seven different radiative transfer models in a variety of conditions. We have found that the models agree remarkably well, at a level better than previously reported. This result provides confidence in our understanding of atmospheric radiative transfer.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-470
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-470

  04 Jan 2021

04 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Systematic Comparison of Vectorial Spherical Radiative Transfer Models in Limb Scattering Geometry

Daniel Zawada1, Ghislain Franssens2, Robert Loughman3, Antti Mikkonen4, Alexei Rozanov5, Claudia Emde6, Adam Bourassa1, Seth Dueck1, Hannakaisa Lindqvist4, Didier Ramon7, Vladimir Rozanov5, Emmanuel Dekemper2, Erkki Kyrölä4, John P. Burrows5, Didier Fussen2, and Doug Degenstein1 Daniel Zawada et al.
  • 1Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 2Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Brussels, Belgium
  • 3Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, USA
  • 4Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 5Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 6Meteorological Institute, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
  • 7HYGEOS, Lille, France

Abstract. A comprehensive inter-comparison of seven radiative transfer models in the limb scattering geometry has been performed. Every model is capable of accounting for polarisation within a fully spherical atmosphere. Three models (GSLS, SASKTRAN-HR, and SCIATRAN) are deterministic, and four models (MYSTIC, SASKTRAN-MC, Siro, and SMART-G) are statistical using the Monte Carlo technique. A wide variety of test cases encompassing different atmospheric conditions, solar geometries, wavelengths, tangent altitudes, and Lambertian surface reflectances have been defined and executed for every model. For the majority of conditions it was found that the models agree to better than 0.2 % in the single scatter test cases and better than 1 % in the multiple scatter scalar and vector test cases, with some larger differences noted at high values of surface reflectance in multiple scatter. For the first time in limb geometry, the effect of atmospheric refraction was compared among four models that support it (GSLS, SASKTRAN-HR, SCIATRAN, and SMART-G). Differences among most models in multiple scatter with refraction enabled was less than 1 %, with larger differences observed for some models. Overall the agreement among the models with and without refraction is better than has been previously reported in both scalar and vector modes.

Daniel Zawada et al.

Status: open (until 01 Mar 2021)

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Daniel Zawada et al.

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Radiance data for "Systematic Comparison of Vectorial Spherical Radiative Transfer Models in Limb Scattering Geometry" by Zawada et al. Zawada, Daniel, Franssens, Ghislain, Loughman, Robert, Mikkonen, Antti, Rozanov, Alexei, Emde, Claudia, Bourassa, Adam, Dueck, Seth, Lindqvist, Hannakaisa, Ramon, Didier, Rozanov, Vladimir, Dekemper, Emmanuel, Kyrölä, Erkki, Burrows, John P., Fussen, Didier, and Degenstein, Doug https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4292302

Daniel Zawada et al.

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Short summary
Satellite measurements of atmospheric composition often rely on computer tools known as radiative transfer models to model the propagation of sunlight within the atmosphere. Here we have performed a detailed inter-comparison of seven different radiative transfer models in a variety of conditions. We have found that the models agree remarkably well, at a level better than previously reported. This result provides confidence in our understanding of atmospheric radiative transfer.
Citation