The temperature in the optically thick interior of protoplanetary discs is essential for the interpretation of millimetre observations of the discs, for the vertical structure of the discs, for models of the disc evolution and the planet formation, and for the chemistry in the discs. Since large icy grains have a large albedo even in the infrared, the effect of scattering of the diffuse radiation in the discs on the interior temperature should be examined. We have performed a series of numerical radiation transfer simulations, including isotropic scattering by grains with various typical sizes for the diffuse radiation as well as for the incident stellar radiation. We also have developed an analytic model including isotropic scattering to understand the physics concealed in the numerical results. With the analytic model, we have shown that the standard two-layer approach is valid only for grey opacity (i.e. grain size ≳10 μm) even without scattering. A three-layer interpretation is required for grain size ≲10 μm. When the grain size is 0.1-10 μm, the numerical simulations show that the isotropic scattering reduces the temperature of the disc interior. This reduction is nicely explained by the analytic three-layer model as a result of the energy loss by scatterings of the incident stellar radiation and of the warm diffuse radiation in the disc atmosphere. For grain size ≳10 μm (i.e. grey scattering), the numerical simulations show that the isotropic scattering does not affect the interior temperature. This is nicely explained by the analytic two-layer model; the energy loss by scattering in the disc atmosphere is exactly offset by the 'green-house effect' due to the scattering of the cold diffuse radiation in the interior.
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