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Balancing accuracy, efficiency, and flexibility in radiation calculations for dynamical models
  • Robert Pincus,
  • Eli Mlawer,
  • Jennifer Delamere
Robert Pincus
University of Colorado, University of Colorado

Corresponding Author:robert.pincus@colorado.edu

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Eli Mlawer
Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Atmospheric and Environmental Research
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Jennifer Delamere
Alpenglow Instruments, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alpenglow Instruments, University of Alaska Fairbanks
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This paper describes the initial implementation of new toolbox that seeks to balance accuracy, efficiency, and flexibility in radiation calculations for dynamical models. The toolbox consists of two related code bases: Radiative Transfer for Energetics (RTE) computes fluxes given a fully-specified radiative transfer problem, and RRTM for GCM applications - Parallel (RRTMGP), which maps a physical description of the gaseous atmosphere into a radiative transfer problem. The toolbox is an implementation of well-established ideas, including the use of a k-distribution to represent the spectral variation of absorption by gases and the use of two-stream, plane-parallel methods for solving the radiative transfer equation. The focus is instead on accuracy, by basing the k-distribution on state-of-the-art spectroscopy, and on the sometimes-conflicting goals of flexibility and efficiency. Flexibility is facilitated by making extensive use of computational objects encompassing code and data, the latter provisioned at run time and potentially tailored to specific problems. The computational objects provide robust access to a set of high-efficiency computational kernels that can be adapted to new computational environments. Accuracy is obtained by careful choice of algorithms and through tuning and validation of the k-distribution against benchmark calculations.
Oct 2019Published in Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems volume 11 issue 10 on pages 3074-3089. 10.1029/2019MS001621