Ground-based high spectral resolution observations of the entire terrestrial spectrum under extremely dry conditions

Author: D. D. Turner, Eli J. Mlawer and Jennifer S. Delamere
Date: 
May 16, 2012
Type: 
Article
Venue: 
Geophysical Research Letters
Citation: 

Turner, D. D., E. J. Mlawer, J. S. Delamere et al. (2012), Ground-based high spectral resolution observations of the entire terrestrial spectrum under extremely dry conditions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L10801, doi:10.1029/2012GL051542.

A field experiment was conducted in northern Chile at an altitude of 5.3 km to evaluate the accuracy of line-by-line radiative transfer models in regions of the spectrum that are typically opaque at sea level due to strong water vapor absorption. A suite of spectrally resolved radiance instruments collected simultaneous observations that, for the first time ever, spanned the entire terrestrial thermal spectrum (i.e., from 10 to 3000 cm−1, or 1000 to 3.3 μm). These radiance observations, together with collocated water vapor and temperature profiles, are used to provide an initial evaluation of the accuracy of water vapor absorption in the far-infrared of two line-by-line radiative transfer models. These initial results suggest that the more recent of the two models is more accurate in the strongly absorbing water vapor pure rotation band. This result supports the validity of the Turner et al. (2012) study that demonstrated that the use of the more recent water vapor absorption model in climate simulations resulted in significant radiative and dynamical changes in the simulation relative to the older water vapor model.