Abstract

A radiative transfer model for the coupled atmosphere–sea ice system is used to study the change in downward irradiance across the air–ice interface. Computations demonstrate that the downward solar irradiance can be significantly enhanced across the air–ice interface. The enhancement is mainly due to light in the ice that is scattered upward and then totally reflected by the air–ice interface. It depends primarily on the change in the index of refraction across this interface and the optical properties of the sea ice, but also on the direct solar and sky illumination of the interface.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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