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Estimates of radiation over clouds and dust aerosols: Optimized number of terms...

Ding, S., Y. Xie, P. Yang, F. Weng, Q. Liu, B. A. Baum, and Y. Hu (2009), Estimates of radiation over clouds and dust aerosols: Optimized number of terms in phase function expansion, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 110, 1190-1198, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2009.03.032.
Abstract: 

The bulk-scattering properties of dust aerosols and clouds are computed for the community radiative transfer model (CRTM) that is a flagship effort of the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA). The delta-fit method is employed to truncate the forward peaks of the scattering phase functions and to compute the Legendre expansion coefficients for re-constructing the truncated phase function. Use of more terms in the expansion gives more accurate re-construction of the phase function, but the issue remains as to how many terms are necessary for different applications. To explore this issue further, the bidirectional reflectances associated with dust aerosols, water clouds, and ice clouds are simulated with various numbers of Legendre expansion terms. To have relative numerical errors smaller than 5%, the present analyses indicate that, in the visible spectrum, 16 Legendre polynomials should be used for dust aerosols, while 32 Legendre expansion terms should be used for both water and ice clouds. In the infrared spectrum, the brightness temperatures at the top of the atmosphere are computed by using the scattering properties of dust aerosols, water clouds and ice clouds. Although small differences of brightness temperatures compared with the counterparts computed with 4, 8, 128 expansion terms are observed at large viewing angles for each layer, it is shown that 4 terms of Legendre polynomials are sufficient in the radiative transfer computation at infrared wavelengths for practical applications.

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Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)