By Alexander Marshak, Anthony Davis

ISBN-10: 3540239588

ISBN-13: 9783540239581

Developments in third-dimensional cloud radiation over the last few a long time are assessed and distilled into this contributed quantity. Chapters are authored by means of subject-matter specialists who address a huge viewers of graduate scholars, researchers, and somebody attracted to cloud-radiation tactics within the sun and infrared spectral regions. After introductory chapters and a piece at the primary physics and computational strategies, the amount generally treats major program components: the effect of clouds at the Earth's radiation price range, that is a necessary point of weather modeling; and distant commentary of clouds, in particular with the complicated sensors on present and destiny satellite tv for pc missions.

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The actual or implied denunciation of 1D cloud modeling in some finite cloud papers requires comment. First, measurements are the acid test of any model; it is not enough that a model simply ‘looks’ better. Perhaps weighting 1D albedos by the proper measure of cloud fraction will correctly predict the albedo of patchy cloud fields. But more importantly, our job is not to make our models as complicated as Nature herself; it is to simplify and idealize, in order to gain understanding. 1D cloud modeling is an entirely acceptable way to do this [.

It seems bizarre that two communities which share a focus on radiation and clouds remain almost completely isolated, like two religious sects shunning each other over small doctrinal differences. Perhaps the budding theoretical and observational efforts in the sub-millimeter wavelength region, lying between the IR and microwave, will help to connect the two alienated communities and bridge the sub-millimeter divide. The progress of cloud physics is leaving the fantasy drop distributions used by radiation people increasingly in the dust.

The book reminds us that understanding things in 1D or 2D does not immediately provide correct generalizations to 3D and 4D. Qualitatively new phenomena occur when jumping to higher dimensions. A 4D sphere passing through our 3D world would appear like a ghost, growing from a point to full size and then shrinking and finally vanishing. No one would regard this as a trivial extension of a 3D sphere! We can paper over this difficulty by assuming that higher dimensions are just a mathematical cross-product of single dimensions, but such an assumption, tantamount to a miracle, should not be accepted at face value without extensive proof.

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3D radiative transfer in cloudy atmospheres by Alexander Marshak, Anthony Davis


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