A preliminary test of atmospheric emittance equations at high altitude

  • R. Lougeay
  • A. Brazel


Observations of atmospheric emittance (incoming longwave radiation,L↓) were made in the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies, U.S.A. during the summer of 1980. Four models of atmospheric emittance were tested for their utility in a high altitude (ca. 3500–3800 m) environment of rugged, mountainous terrain. The Idso and Jackson formulation of atmospheric emittance, using only observed ambient temperature, performed as well as others, even in areas of complex cirque terrain characterized by highly varied topoclimatic conditions. This equation can be of use in estimating net radiation and snow ablation where only temperature measurements are available. Absolute mean errors of equations analyzed ranged from 1% to 23%.


High Altitude Longwave Radiation Atmospheric Emittance Niwot Ridge Alpine Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Vorläufige Ergebnisse der Prüfung atmosphärischer Strahlungsgleichungen im Hochgebirge


Beobachtungen atmosphärischer Ausstrahlung (einfallende Langwellenstrahlung,L↓) wurden an der Hauptkette der Colorado Rocky Mountains, U.S. A., während des Sommers 1980 gemacht. Vier Modelle atmosphärischer Strahlung wurden ihrer Anwendbarkeit nach in einer Höhenlage von ungefähr 3500 bis 3800 m und in einer Umwelt von rauhem, gebirgigem Terrain geprüft. Die Formulierung atmosphärischer Ausstrahlung von Idso und Jackson, die lediglich von beobachteten Umwelttemperaturen abhängt, bewährte sich mindestens ebenso gut als andere, sogar in Gegenden schwierigen Zirkel-Terrains, welches durch stark variierende, topoklimatische Bedingungen charakterisiert ist. Diese Gleichung kann auf die Abschätzung der Strahlungsbilanz und der Schneeschmelze angewendet werden, wenn lediglich Temperatunnessungen zur Verfügung stehen. Die absolute mittlere Abweichung der analysierten Gleichungen bewegte sich zwischen l% und 23%.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Aase, J. K., Idso, S. B.: A Comparison of Two Formula Types for Calculating Long-Wave Radiation from the Atmosphere. Water Resources Research14, 623–625 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brazel, A. J., Marcus, M. G.: Heat Exchange Across a Snow Surface at 5365 Meters Mt. Logan, Yukon. Arctic and Alpine Research11, 1–16 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brazel, A. J., Osbourne, R.: Observations of Atmospheric Thermal Radiation at Wind Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Arch. Met. Geoph. Biokl., Ser. B24, 189–200 (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brutsaert, W.: On a Derivable Formula for Long-Wave Radiation from Clear Skies. Water Resources Research11, 742–744 (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Idso, S. B.: On the Use of Equations to Estimate Atmospheric Thermal Radiation. Arch. Met. Geoph. Biokl., Ser. B22, 287–299 (1974).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Idso, S. B.: On the Apparent Incompatibility of Different Atmospheric Thermal Radiation Data Sets. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc.106, 375–376 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Idso, S. B., Jackson, R. D.: Thermal Radiation from the Atmosphere. J. Geophys. Res.74, 5397–5403 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Johnson, J. B.: Mass Balance and Aspects of the Glacier Environment, Front Range, Colorado, 1969–1973, PhD Dissertation, University of Colorado, Dept. of Geological Sciences (1979).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    LeDrew, E. F.: The Estimation of Clear Sky Atmospheric Emittance at High Altitudes. Arctic and Alpine Research7, 227–236 (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Marks, D., Dozier, J.: A Clear-Sky Longwave Radiation Model for Remote Alpine Areas. Arch. Met. Geoph. Biokl., Ser. B27, 159–187 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Paltridge, G. W.: Day Time Long-Wave Radiation from the Sky. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc.96, 645–653 (1970).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Lougeay
    • 1
  • A. Brazel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyState University CollegeGeneseoUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Personalised recommendations