Radiative transfer in model atmospheres including CO2, water vapor, ozone, and clouds can be explored by computer simulation for the purpose of predicting the mean temperature at the surface of the earth. Where two or more gases have overlapping absorption lines, the overlap emissivity determined from the band-averaged expressions is a possible source of uncertainty. This method has been tested in a 250-cm−1 region around 15 µm where the CO2 absorption overlaps the tail of the water vapor rotation band. Published high resolution spectra of these gases enable the overlap effects to be calculated for small spectral intervals and summed over the band. This calculation was made and compared with the value given by the approximate treatment for the same gas concentrations, pressure, and temperature. Agreement was within 10 percent, indicating that the more detailed spectral calculation is unnecessary.
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