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A High-performance Atmospheric Radiation Package: with applications to the radiative energy budgets of giant planets

Li, Cheng and Le, Tianhao and Zhang, Xi and Yung, Yuk L. (2018) A High-performance Atmospheric Radiation Package: with applications to the radiative energy budgets of giant planets. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 217 . pp. 353-362. ISSN 0022-4073. doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2018.06.002.

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A High-performance Atmospheric Radiation Package (HARP) is developed for studying multiple-scattering planetary atmospheres. HARP is an open-source program written in C++ that utilizes high-level data structure and parallel-computing algorithms. It is generic in three aspects. First, the construction of the model atmospheric profile is generic. The program can either take in an atmospheric profile or construct an adiabatic thermal and compositional profile, taking into account the clouds and latent heat release due to condensation. Second, the calculation of opacity is generic, based on line-by-line molecular transitions and tabulated continuum data, along with a table of correlated-k opacity provided as an option to speed up the calculation of energy fluxes. Third, the selection of the solver for the radiative transfer equation is generic. The solver is not hardwired in the program. Instead, based on the purpose, a variety of radiative transfer solvers can be chosen to couple with the atmosphere model and the opacity model. We use the program to investigate the radiative heating and cooling rates of all four giant planets in the Solar System. Our Jupiter's result is consistent with previous publications. Saturn has nearly perfect balance between the heating rate and cooling rate. Uranus has the least radiative fluxes because of the lack of CH_4 and its photochemical products. Both Uranus and Neptune suffer from a severe energy deficit in their stratospheres. Possible ways to resolve this issue are discussed. Finally, we recalculate the radiative time constants of all four giant planet atmospheres and find that the traditional values from (Conrath BJ, Gierasch PJ, Leroy SS. Temperature and Circulation in the Stratosphere of the Outer Planets. Icar. 1990;83:255-81) are significantly overestimated.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Li, Cheng0000-0002-8280-3119
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. Received 28 January 2018, Revised 2 June 2018, Accepted 3 June 2018, Available online 6 June 2018. We thank Julie Moses for kindly providing the photochemical model results of four giant planets. X.Z. acknowledges support from NASA Solar System Workings grant NNX16AG08G. C.L. acknowledges the support from NASA Postdoc Program Fellowship. Code availability: HARP is an open-source program and will be made freely available to the community on Github at
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:HARP; Radiative transfer model; Giant planet; Ice giants; Energy budget
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180622-081434127
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Cheng Li, Tianhao Le, Xi Zhang, Yuk L. Yung, A high-performance atmospheric radiation package: With applications to the radiative energy budgets of giant planets, Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, Volume 217, 2018, Pages 353-362, ISSN 0022-4073, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87307
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Jun 2018 15:53
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:47

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