THE SENSITIVITY OF THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT TO CHANGES IN THE CONCENTRATION OF GASES IN PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES

Smadar Bressler, Giora Shaviv, Nir J. Shaviv

Abstract


We present a radiative transfer model for Earth-Like-Planets (ELP). The model allows the assessment of the effect of a change in the concentration of an atmospheric component, especially a greenhouse gas (GHG), on the surface temperature of a planet. The model is based on the separation between the contribution of the short wavelength molecular absorption and the long wavelength one. A unique feature of the model is the condition of energy conservation at every point in the atmosphere. The radiative transfer equation is solved in the two stream approximation without assuming the existence of an LTE in any wavelength range. The model allows us to solve the Simpson paradox, whereby the greenhouse effect (GHE) has no temperature limit. On the contrary, we show that the temperature saturates, and its value depends primarily on the distance of the planet from the central star. We also show how the relative humidity affects the surface temperature of a planet and explain why the effect is smaller than the one derived when the above assumptions are neglected.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague