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K. McGouldrick (Univ. Colorado (LASP)), O. B. Toon (Univ. Colorado (PAOS))
NIR observations of the Venus nightside revealed unexpected inhomogeneity of brightness. It has been speculated that this inhomogeneity results from spatially and temporally varying optical depths in the middle, condensational, Venus cloud. The varying optical depth is most likely the result of localized evaporation of the cloud. I am using the CU / NASA-Ames CARMA (Community Aerosol and Radiation Model Atmosphere) code to model the microphysical and radiative properties of the Venus middle cloud deck. The current (1-D) model reproduces the globally averaged Venus atmosphere -- as compared with Pioneer Venus LCPS observations -- in particle concentration and optical depth. We have perturbed the base state by altering the temperature and eddy diffusion profiles. Some of these perturbations have produced the observed variation in the modelled middle cloud optical depth.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.