Variational iteration method for infrared radiative transfer in a scattering medium

Feng Zhang, Yi Ning Shi, Jiangnan Li, Kun Wu, Hironobu Iwabuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A new scheme is proposed for using the variational iteration method (VIM) to solve the problem of infrared radiative transfer in a scattering medium. This scheme allows the zeroth-order solution to be identified as the absorption approximation and the scattering effect is included in the first-order iteration. The upward and downward intensities are calculated separately in VIM, which simplifies the calculation process. By applying VIM to two single-layer scattering media and a full radiation algorithm with gaseous transmission, it is found that VIM is generally more accurate than the discrete-ordinates method (DOM), especially for cirrostratus. Computationally, VIM is slightly faster than DOM in the two-stream case but more than twice as fast in the four-stream case. In view of its high overall accuracy and computational efficiency, VIM is well suited to solving infrared radiative transfer in climate models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-430
Number of pages12
JournalJournals of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Parameterization
  • Radiative fluxes
  • Radiative transfer
  • Variational analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Variational iteration method for infrared radiative transfer in a scattering medium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this