Standard Article

Spectroscopy of the Earth's Atmosphere

  1. Jean-Marie Flaud1,
  2. Johannes Orphal1,2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470749593.hrs099

Handbook of High-resolution Spectroscopy

Handbook of High-resolution Spectroscopy

How to Cite

Flaud, J.-M. and Orphal, J. 2011. Spectroscopy of the Earth's Atmosphere. Handbook of High-resolution Spectroscopy. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Universités Paris-7 et Paris-Est, Créteil, France

  2. 2

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2011


In this article we describe the applications of molecular spectroscopy for the study of the Earth's atmosphere. After a short historical introduction, we present the principal physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere and discuss current fields of research (i.e., the evolution of the ozone layer, tropospheric air pollution, and increasing greenhouse gas concentrations). We then briefly describe the basic theory of atmospheric radiative transfer and the most important spectroscopic databases. After a presentation of the different experimental techniques that are used to measure atmospheric spectra, some examples of recent studies (linking laboratory work, theoretical studies, and atmospheric remote-sensing experiments) are given to illustrate current topics of research in this field.


  • spectroscopy;
  • atmosphere;
  • remote sensing;
  • molecules;
  • absorption;
  • emission