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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fast-J: Accurate simulation of in- and below-cloud photolysis in tropospheric chemical models

  • Author(s): Wild, Oliver;
  • Zhu, Xin;
  • Prather, Michael J
  • et al.

Photolysis rates in the troposphere are greatly affected by the presenceof cloud and aerosol layers. Yet, the spatial variability of theselayers along with the difficulty of multiple-scattering calculationsfor large particles makes their inclusion in 3-D chemical transportmodels computationally very expensive.This study presents a flexible and accurate photolysis scheme, Fast-J,which calculates photolysis rates in the presence of an arbitrary mix ofcloud and aerosol layers. The algorithm is sufficiently fast to allow thescheme to be incorporated into 3-D global chemical transport models andhave photolysis rates updated hourly. It enables tropospheric chemistrysimulations to include directly the physical properties of the scatteringand absorbing particles in the column, including the full, untruncatedscattering phase function and the total, uncorrected optical depth.The Fast-J scheme is compared with earlier methods that have been usedin 3-D models to parameterize the effects of clouds on photolysis rates.The impact of Fast-J on tropospheric ozone chemistry is demonstratedwith the UCI tropospheric CTM.

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