Abstract

We propose the physically based parameterization of the radiative characteristics of liquid-water clouds as functions of the wavelength, effective radius, and refractive index of particles, liquid-water path, ground albedo, and solar and observation angles. The formulas obtained are based on the approximate analytical solutions of the radiative transfer equation for optically thick, weakly absorbing layers and the geometrical optics approximation for local optical characteristics of cloud media. The accuracy of the approximate formulas was studied with an exact radiative transfer code. The relative error of the approximate formula for the reflection function at nadir observations was less then 15% for an optical thickness larger than 10 and a single-scattering albedo larger than 0.95.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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