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  • A fast infrared radiative transfer model (FIRTM2) appropriate for application to both single-layered and overlapping cloud situations is developed for simulating the outgoing infrared spectral radiance at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). In FIRTM2 a pre-computed library of cloud reflectance and transmittance values is employed to account for one or two cloud layers, whereas the background atmospheric optical thickness due to gaseous absorption can be computed from a clear-sky radiative transfer model. FIRTM2 is applicable to three atmospheric conditions: (1) clear-sky, (2) single-layered ice or water cloud, and (3) two simultaneous cloud layers in a column (e.g., ice cloud overlying water cloud). Moreover, FIRTM2 outputs the derivatives (i.e., Jacobians) of the TOA brightness temperature with respect to cloud optical thickness and effective particle size. Sensitivity analyses have been carried out to assess the performance of FIRTM2 for two spectral regions, namely the longwave (LW) band (587.3-1179.5 cm-1) and the short-to-medium wave (SMW) band (1180.1-2228.9 cm-1). The assessment is carried out in terms of brightness temperature differences (BTD) between FIRTM2 and the well-known discrete ordinates radiative transfer model (DISORT), henceforth referred to as BTD (F-D). The BTD (F-D) values for single-layered clouds are generally less than 0.8 K. For the case of two cloud layers (specifically ice cloud over water cloud), the BTD (F-D) values are also generally less than 0.8 K except for the SMW band for the case of a very high altitude (>15 km) cloud comprised of small ice particles. Note that for clear-sky atmospheres, FIRTM2 reduces to the clear-sky radiative transfer model that is incorporated into FIRTM2, and the errors in this case are essentially those of the clear-sky radiative transfer model. 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer

author list (cited authors)

  • Niu, J., Yang, P., Huang, H., Davies, J. E., Li, J., Baum, B. A., & Hu, Y. X

publication date

  • January 1, 2007 11:11 AM