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How accurate is the Sudarsky scale of gas-giant classification today? Do the different classes still exist, and look roughly the same?

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    Apr 17, 2023 at 14:03

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The paper Sudarsky et al., 2003, which the wikipedia article is based on, is probably outdated by now in two important aspects.
1.) They used equilibrium chemistry i.e. a local theory of perfect, uniform mixing in the entire atmosphere and infinitely fast chemistry. This has been by now realized to be important to correct (e.g. Cooper&Showman 2006 or Tsai et al. 2017) and leads to different behaviour in the spectrum of a planet.

2.) The line-lists they used were inaccurate for many molecules for hot worlds (see e.g. Tennyson & Yurchenko 2017), particularly in the infrared. This would mainly be leading to different computations of the P-T profile primarily, but that of course impacts the emission spectrum and hence the 'Sudarsky class'.

While those effects are impactful, I am not aware of any paper that systematically tried to redo the classification work from 2003, hence we don't know how impactful they would be overall.

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