36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 39 Mercury, Moon, and Venus
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[39.11] Modelling the Radiative-Dynamic Feedback in the Clouds of Venus

K. McGouldrick, O. B. Toon (Univ. of Colorado / LASP)

Near Infrared observations of the nightside of Venus revealed inhomogeneity of brightness temperatures. This inhomogeneity is likely due to the localized evaporation of the middle and lower cloud deck (about 40 - 60 km above the surface of the planet). We are modelling the Venus condensational middle and lower cloud deck with the CU / NASA Ames Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres (CARMA). We have shown, in previous work, that we are able to reproduce the globally averaged (1-D) Venus middle and lower cloud deck -- as compared with the \it in situ \rm Pioneer Venus Lower Cloud Particle Size Spectrometer (LCPS) observations -- by assuming a temporally constant eddy diffusion profile. However, the middle and lower cloud deck of Venus is driven (and sustained) by a radiative-dynamic feedback caused by the heating of the cloud base by the very hot planetary surface and lower atmosphere. The present work demonstrates that we can reproduce the observed cloud structure by using this feedback, and begins to shed light on the possible causes for the observed variability in the clouds.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.