A comparison of radiative transfer models for simulating Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) radiances



[1] A comparison of radiative transfer models for simulating radiances from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), has been undertaken. Results from 14 line-by-line and fast parameterized infrared models were submitted. Several aspects of the models were compared. First, the forward model calculations for all 2378 AIRS channels for 52 diverse atmospheric profiles and one tropical Pacific profile coincident with AIRS data were performed for three local zenith viewing angles: nadir, 45, and 60 degrees. Second, for a subset of the models and only 20 AIRS channels the transmittances from each layer to space were provided. Finally, for some models the Jacobians with respect to temperature, water vapor, and ozone were also computed. For the forward model calculations, most models agree to within 0.02 K when compared to a reference line-by-line model averaged over a subset of profiles, with the exception of a few spectral regions. When compared with AIRS observations, however, the mean differences increase to 0.2 K, and for a few models even greater differences are seen. The transmittance differences highlighted regions of the spectrum where the spectroscopy of the models differs, particularly in the carbon dioxide absorption bands at 667 cm−1 and 2386 cm−1. For the Jacobians all models have some profiles/channels that do not fit the reference well, and the main problems are documented here. The model differences only increase slightly for off-nadir viewing angles for both forward and Jacobian calculations.