By Alexander Marshak, Anthony Davis

Developments in 3-dimensional cloud radiation over the last few a long time are assessed and distilled into this contributed quantity. Chapters are authored through subject-matter specialists who address a extensive viewers of graduate scholars, researchers, and a person drawn to cloud-radiation approaches within the sun and infrared spectral regions. After introductory chapters and a piece at the primary physics and computational suggestions, the amount widely treats major software components: the impression of clouds at the Earth's radiation funds, that's an important point of weather modeling; and distant remark of clouds, specially with the complex sensors on present and destiny satellite tv for pc missions.

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3D radiative transfer in cloudy atmospheres

Advancements in third-dimensional cloud radiation during the last few a long time are assessed and distilled into this contributed quantity. Chapters are authored by way of subject-matter specialists who address a extensive viewers of graduate scholars, researchers, and a person drawn to cloud-radiation tactics within the sunlight and infrared spectral areas.

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My detour into 1D plane parallel radiative transfer lasted almost two decades, but when I finally got back to 3D radiative transfer as a result of the birth of the Dept. of Energy ARM program in 1990, I was under no illusion that we would need to invent the field from scratch. 11 Computer solutions were frowned upon at Caltech in favor of classical analysis, so what little numerical analysis I learned was at night away from the prying eyes of my thesis adviser. J. Wiscombe When I entered the atmospheric radiation field in 1970, it was so small that it hadn’t even had its first AMS conference yet (Tom Vonder Haar organized one in 1972).

Precipitation or “weather” radars, used since their accidental discovery in World War II, had centimeter wavelengths too long to get a significant return from the 1–30 micron drops important for solar and IR radiation, although they gave us our first look inside the bowels of a raincloud. And the look was only semi-quantitative according to a weather radar pioneer I spoke to, due to calibration and problems of data interpretation. Microwave remote sensing was just getting started in the 1970s, both from the ground and from satellites, leveraging off detector advances in astronomy and other fields,24 but it would be a decade before any credible quantitative results for clouds emerged.

Of course, as ARM grew beyond its birth in SPECTRE, it adopted many instruments whose development paths began in the FIRE Program. And while FIRE and ARM remained separate and distinct at the top level, there were too few people involved in clouds to prevent a considerable merging at the working level. My very first proposal to ARM in 1990 concerned 3D cloud radiation, with which I have been more or less involved to the present day. So, my tortuous road to the 3D cloud problem was: a critical review of a 1975 paper sparking a concern over lack of good radiation observations, which grew to a point where I shelved my theoretical work and co-led a clear-sky IR field program, which nucleated the cloud program ARM, which funded me to work on 3D cloud radiation problems for 14 years.

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