Wednesday, 17 May Practicum on solar energy deposition in the atmosphere




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Wednesday, 17 May
Practicum on solar energy deposition in the atmosphere


  1. Calculate and plot the altitude at which solar radiation is attenuated to 1/e of its exoatmospheric value as a function of wavelength between 100 and 310 nm for overhead sun conditions. Supplied datasets:

    1. atmos.dat – global mean atmosphere profiles for total number density, O2 and O3 densities (density units are molecules/cm3).

    2. cross.dat – wavelength dependent cross-sections for O2 and O 3 (units cm2/molecule). Wavelengths are given are at bin centers.

  2. For the same conditions, calculate the energy deposition rate (W/m3) vs. altitude, by integrating the flux divergence over all wavelengths. Additional dataset:

    1. flux.dat – wavelength dependent exoatmospheric flux (W/m2/m). Wavelengths are given are at bin centers.

  3. Finally calculate the instantaneous atmospheric heating rate (in K/day) assuming all absorbed energy is thermalized.

Useful constants:

Atomic mass unit (amu) 1.6605e-27 kg

Mean molecular mass 28.97 amu



Specific heat at constant pressure (cp) 1005 J/K/kg


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