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Keywords:

  • extraterrestrial solar spectrum;
  • radiative transfer modeling;
  • calibrated Fourier transform measurements;
  • Langley method

Abstract

[1] A detailed spectrally resolved extraterrestrial solar spectrum (ESS) is important for line-by-line radiative transfer modeling in the near-IR. Very few observationally based high-resolution ESS are available in this spectral region. Consequently, the theoretically calculated ESS by Kurucz has been widely adopted. We present the CAVIAR (Continuum Absorption at Visible and Infrared Wavelengths and its Atmospheric Relevance) ESS, which is derived using the Langley technique applied to calibrated observations using a ground-based high-resolution Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) in atmospheric windows from 2000 to 10,000 cm–1 (1–5 µm). There is good agreement between the strengths and positions of solar lines between the CAVIAR and the satellite-based Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment-FTS ESS, in the spectral region where they overlap, and good agreement with other ground-based FTS measurements in two near-IR windows. However, there are significant differences in the structure between the CAVIAR ESS and spectra from semiempirical models. In addition, we found a difference of up to 8% in the absolute (and hence the wavelength-integrated) irradiance between the CAVIAR ESS and that of Thuillier et al., which was based on measurements from the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science satellite and other sources. In many spectral regions, this difference is significant, because the coverage factor k = 2 (or 95% confidence limit) uncertainties in the two sets of observations do not overlap. Because the total solar irradiance is relatively well constrained, if the CAVIAR ESS is correct, then this would indicate an integrated “loss” of solar irradiance of about 30 W m–2 in the near-IR that would have to be compensated by an increase at other wavelengths.