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Proceedings Paper

Far-infrared: a frontier in remote sensing of Earth's climate and energy balance
Author(s): Martin G. Mlynczak; John E. Harries; Rolando Rizzi; Paul W. Stackhouse; David P. Kratz; David Geoffrey Johnson; Christopher J. Mertens; Rolando R. Garcia; Brian J. Soden
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Paper Abstract

The radiative balance of the troposphere, and hence climate, is influenced strongly by radiative cooling associated with emission of infrared radiation by water vapor, particularly at far-infrared (far-IR) wavelengths greater than 15 micrometers and extending out beyond 50micrometers . Water vapor absorption and emission is principally due to the pure rotation band, which includes both line and continuum absorption. The distribution of water vapor and associated far-IR radiative forcings and feedbacks are well-recognized as major uncertainties in understanding and predicting future climate. Up to half of the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) from the Earth occurs beyond 15.4 micrometers (650 cm-1_ depending on atmospheric and surface conditions. Cirrus clouds also modulate the outgoing longwave radiation in the far-IR. However, despite this fundamental importance, far-IR emission (spectra of band- integrated) has rarely been directly measured from space, airborne, or ground-based platforms. Current and planned operational and research satellites typically observe the mid-infrared only to about 15.4 micrometers . In this talk we will review the role of the far-IR radiation in climate and will discuss the scientific and technical requirements for far-IR measurements of the Earth's atmosphere.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 January 2002
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4485, Optical Spectroscopic Techniques, Remote Sensing, and Instrumentation for Atmospheric and Space Research IV, (30 January 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.454247
Show Author Affiliations
Martin G. Mlynczak, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
John E. Harries, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United Kingdom)
Rolando Rizzi, Univ. degli Studi di Bologna (Italy)
Paul W. Stackhouse, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
David P. Kratz, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
David Geoffrey Johnson, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Christopher J. Mertens, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Rolando R. Garcia, National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research (United States)
Brian J. Soden, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4485:
Optical Spectroscopic Techniques, Remote Sensing, and Instrumentation for Atmospheric and Space Research IV
Allen M. Larar; Martin G. Mlynczak, Editor(s)

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