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Liou, KN, Lee, WL, Hall, A (2007). Radiative transfer in mountains: Application to the Tibetan Plateau. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 34(23), L23809.

[1] We developed a 3D Monte Carlo photon tracing program for the transfer of radiation in inhomogeneous and irregular terrain to calculate broadband solar and thermal infrared fluxes. We selected an area of 100 x 100 km(2) in the Tibetan Plateau centered at Lhasa city and used the albedo and surface temperature from MODIS/Terra for this study. We showed that anomalies of surface solar fluxes with reference to a flat surface can be as large as 600 W/m(2), depending on time of day, mountain configuration, and albedo. Surface temperature is the dominating factor in determining anomalies of the surface infrared flux distribution relative to a flat surface with values as high as 70 W/m(2) at cold mountain surfaces. The average surface solar flux over regional domains of 100 x 100 km 2 and 50 x 50 km(2) comprising intense topography can deviate from the smoothed surface conventionally assumed in climate models and GCMs by 10-50 W/m(2).



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