Rapid calculation of radiative heating rates and photodissociation rates in inhomogeneous multiple scattering atmospheres


  • Owen B. Toon,

  • C. P. McKay,

  • T. P. Ackerman,

  • K. Santhanam


The solution of the generalized two-stream approximation for radiative transfer in homogeneous multiple scattering atmospheres is extended to vertically inhomogeneous atmospheres in a manner which is numerically stable and computationally efficient. It is shown that solar energy deposition rates, photolysis rates, and infrared cooling rates all may be calculated with simple modifications of a single algorithm. The accuracy of the algorithm is generally better than 10% so that other uncertainties, such as in absorption coefficients, may often dominate the error in calculation of the quantities of interest to atmospheric studies.