International Photolysis Frequency Measurement and Model Intercomparison (IPMMI): spectral actinic solar flux measurements and modeling

[1] The International Photolysis Frequency Measurement and Model Intercomparison (IPMMI) took place in Boulder, Colorado, from 15 to 19 June 1998, aiming to investigate the level of accuracy of photolysis frequency and spectral downwelling actinic flux measurements and to explore the ability of radiative transfer models to reproduce the measurements. During this period, 2 days were selected to compare model calculations with measurements, one cloud-free and one cloudy. A series of ancillary measurements were also performed and provided parameters required as input to the models. Both measurements and modeling were blind, in the sense that no exchanges of data or calculations were allowed among the participants, and the results were objectively analyzed and compared by two independent referees. The objective of this paper is, first, to present the results of comparisons made between measured and modeled downwelling actinic flux and irradiance spectra and, second, to investigate the reasons for which some of the models or measurements deviate from the others. For clear skies the relative agreement between the 16 models depends strongly on solar zenith angle (SZA) and wavelength as well as on the input parameters used, like the extraterrestrial (ET) solar flux and the absorption cross sections. The majority of the models (11) agreed to within about +/-6% for solar zenith angles smaller than similar to60degrees. The agreement among the measured spectra depends on the optical characteristics of the instruments (e.g., slit function, stray light rejection, and sensitivity). After transforming the measurements to a common spectral resolution, two of the three participating spectroradiometers agree to within similar to10% for wavelengths longer than 310 nm and at all solar zenith angles, while their differences increase when moving to shorter wavelengths. Most models agree well with the measurements (both downwelling actinic flux and global irradiance), especially at local noon, where the agreement is within a few percent. A few models exhibit significant deviations with respect either to wavelength or to solar zenith angle. Models that use the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science 3 (ATLAS-3) solar flux agree better with the measured spectra, suggesting that ATLAS-3 is probably more appropriate for radiative transfer modeling in the ultraviolet.


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Authors: Bais, A.F., Madronich, S., Crawford, J., Hall, S.R., Mayer, B., van Weele, M., Lenoble, J., Calvert, J.G., Cantrell, C.A., Shetter, R.E., Hofzumahaus, A., Koepke, P., Monks, P.S., Frost, G., McKenzie, R., Krotkov, N., Kylling, A., Swartz, W.H., Lloyd, S., Pfister, G., Martin, T.J., Roeth, E.-P., Griffioen, E., Ruggaber, A., Krol, M., Kraus, A., Edwards, G.D., Mueller, M., Lefer, B.L., Johnston, P., Schwander, H., Flittner, D., Gardiner, B.G., Barrick, J., Schmitt, R.

1 January, 2003
Journal of Geophysical Research / 108
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