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Moist adiabats with multiple condensing species: A new theory with application to giant planet atmospheres

Li, Cheng and Ingersoll, Andrew P. and Oyafuso, Fabiano (2018) Moist adiabats with multiple condensing species: A new theory with application to giant planet atmospheres. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 75 (4). pp. 1063-1072. ISSN 0022-4928. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-17-0257.1.

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We derived a new formula for calculating the moist adiabatic temperature profile of an atmosphere consisting of ideal gases with multiple condensing species. This expression unifies various formulas published in the literature and can be generalized to account for chemical reactions. Unlike previous methods, it converges to machine precision independent of mesh size. It accounts for any ratio of condensable vapors to dry gas, from zero to infinity, and for variable heat capacities as a function of temperature. Because the derivation is generic, the new formula is not only applicable to planetary atmosphere in the solar system, but also to hot Jupiters and brown dwarfs in which a variety of alkali metals, silicates and exotic materials condense. We demonstrate that even though the vapors are ideal gases, they interact in their effects on the moist adiabatic lapse rate. Finally, we apply the new thermodynamic model to study the effects of downdrafts on the distribution of minor constituents and thermal profile in the Galileo probe hotspot. We find that the Galileo Probe measurements can be interpreted as a strong downdraft that displaces an air parcel from 1 bar to the 4 bar level.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Li, Cheng0000-0002-8280-3119
Ingersoll, Andrew P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Oyafuso, Fabiano0000-0002-8862-8737
Additional Information:© 2018 American Meteorological Society. Published Online: 26 January 2018. The research was carried out at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology. C.L. was supported by NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship and by an internship at JPL working with Michael Janssen on the preparation for the Juno mission. We thank Michael Janssen’s support for the internship and his kind assistance for hosting C.L. at JPL.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Earth and Space Science FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180312-125219593
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Li, C., A.P. Ingersoll, and F. Oyafuso, 2018: Moist Adiabats with Multiple Condensing Species: A New Theory with Application to Giant-Planet Atmospheres. J. Atmos. Sci., 75, 1063–1072,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85247
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Mar 2018 20:04
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:27

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