Thursday, October 6, 2011

Comparison of NASA and K&T

This is the NASA energy budget drawing that I consider the benchmark.

This is the K&T old drawing with the net values in red and the corresponding NASA values in blue. The issue is the net 26 into the clouds versus the 51 shown in the NASA drawing. What should be the basis for determining back radiation is lost with that one small mistake. If an effective temperature of the atmosphere is calculated using the sum of the energies absorbed by the atmosphere, the result will be off by a factor ~4.

The wonderful thing about figuring out which energy budget is more correct is that I can focus on how correct. The differences between the two appear insignificant, but the over estimate of DWR, which appears to be due to a small error compounded, has really muddied the waters.

With good confidence in the actual DWR and how is would be measured in the atmosphere, I can make a very simple model.

Update: The equation with the correct energy balance indicates something I had expected. I am satisfied with the solution.

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