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Clear-sky shortwave downward flux at the Earth’s surface: Ground-based data...

Zhang, T., P. Stackhouse, S. J. Cox, J. C. Mikovitz, and C. N. Long (2019), Clear-sky shortwave downward flux at the Earth’s surface: Ground-based data vs. satellite-based data, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 224, 247-260, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2018.11.015.

The radiative flux data and other meteorological data in the BSRN archive start in 1992, but the RadFlux data, the clear-sky radiative fluxes at the BSRN sites empirically inferred through regression analyses of actually observed clear-sky fluxes, did not come into existence until the early 20 0 0s, and at first, they were limited to the 7 NOAA SURFRAD and 4 DOE ARM sites, a subset of the BSRN sites. Recently, the RadFlux algorithm was applied more extensively to the BSRN sites for the production of clear-sky ground-based fluxes. At the time of this writing, there are 7119 site-months of clear-sky fluxes at 42 BSRN sites spanning from 1992 to late 2017. These data provide an unprecedented opportunity to validate the satellite-based clear-sky fluxes. In this paper, the GEWEX SRB GSW(V3.0) clear-sky shortwave downward fluxes spanning 24.5 years from July 1983 to December 2007, the CERES SYN1deg(Ed4A) and EBAF(Ed4.0) clear-sky shortwave fluxes spanning March 20 0 0 to mid-2017 are compared with their RadFlux counterparts on the hourly, 3-hourly, daily and monthly time scales. All the three datasets show reasonable agreement with their ground-based counterparts. Comparison of the satellite-based surface shortwave clear-sky radiative fluxes to the BSRN RadFlux analysis shows negative biases (satellite-based minus RadFlux). Further analysis shows that the satellite-based atmosphere contains greater aerosol loading as well as more precipitable water than RadFlux analysis estimates.

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Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)