Model studies of the influence of O2 photodissociation parameterizations in the Schumann-Runge bands on ozone related photolysis in the upper atmosphere
Abstract. A new parameterization for atmospheric transmission and O2 photodissociation in the Schumann-Runge band region has been developed and tested with a 1D radiative-photochemical model. The parameterization is based on the O2-column along the line of sight to the Sun and the local temperature. Line-by-line calculations have served as a benchmark for testing this method and several other, commonly used, parameterizations. The comparisons suggest that differences between the line-by-line calculations and currently accepted parameterizations can be reduced significantly by using the new method, particularly at large solar zenith angles. The production rate of O-atoms computed with this method shows less than 6% deviation compared to the line-by-line calculations at any altitude, all solar zenith angles and in all seasons. The largest errors are found toward the shorter wavelengths in the Schumann-Runge region at low altitudes. Transmittance is approximated to better than 4% at any altitude and/or solar zenith angle. The total O-production rate above 20 km is approximated to better than 2%. The new parameterization is easily implemented in existing photochemical models and in many cases it may simply replace the existing algorithm. The computational effort exceeds that of other parameterizations but in view of the total computation time needed for the actual calculation of the parameterized Schumann-Runge bands this should not lead to significant performance degeneration. The first 14 coefficients of the parameterization are included in this study. Both the complete sets of coefficients and a simple algorithm can be obtained by contacting the authors. A photochemical model study shows the largest effect of the parameterization method is on odd hydrogen concentrations. Subsequent interaction with an odd oxygen family causes differences in the ozone concentrations between the different parameterizations of more than 10% at selected altitudes. Although it is already established that deficiencies in the treatment of Schumann-Runge band absorption are unlikely to explain the current underestimation of ozone concentration at the stratopause in a variety of photochemical models, this study does show that the choice of parameterization has a large impact on the accuracy of the results at large solar zenith angles and in different seasons.