The Venusian Insolation Atmospheric Topside Thermal Heating Pool

Philip Mulholland, Stephen Paul Rathbone Wilde


A 1 metre increment modelled pressure profile is used to study the troposphere of Venus from the surface to the lower stratosphere. Using a troposphere model lapse rate profile as the constraint on cooling by vertically convecting air, the modelled height of the tropopause convection limit is a close match to the level of the observed static atmosphere height for the 250 Kelvin freezing point level of 75% by weight of concentrated sulphuric acid, the primary condensing volatile in the Venusian atmosphere. This relationship suggests that the observed albedo of Venus is a response to and not a cause of planetary atmospheric solar radiant forcing.

Using the thermal lapse rate for the troposphere of Venus in its top-down mode of application, the depth below the tropopause that solar irradiance is able to achieve effective heating of the Venusian atmosphere is established. This radiant quenching depth delineates a pool of upper tropospheric air that both captures and responds to solar radiant forcing. Consequently, this top of the troposphere insolation forcing induces a process of full troposphere adiabatic convective overturn and delivers solar heated air to the ground via the action of forced air descent in the twin polar vortices of Venus.

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