Abstract

In a recent paper W. B. Grant [> “ Water Vapor Absorption Coefficients in the 8–13-μm Spectral Region: a Critical Review,” Appl. Opt. 29, 451– 462 ( 1990)] reviewed experimental measurements of the water vapor continuum absorption coefficients in the 8–13-μm spectral region. In comparing three different ground-based techniques he concluded that the absorption coefficients used in the hitran and lowtran-7 codes are in reasonable agreement with the measurements. These coefficients are ~20% lower than those used in the lowtran-6 code. A fourth method of experimentally determining the water vapor absorption coefficients is described which suggests an opposite result. A comparison between sets of satellite measured infrared radiances and ship measurements of sea surface temperature using a model of infrared transmission through the atmosphere gives coefficients that are 20–40% larger than those used in lowtran-6. Agreement between the four different measurement techniques is only possible if a much stronger negative temperature dependence of the continuum absorption coefficients is adopted. This results in significant increases in the coefficients at temperatures below 270 K.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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