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Uncertainty Estimate of Surface Irradiances Computed with MODIS-, CALIPSO-, and...

Kato, S., N. Loeb, D. A. Rutan, F. G. Rose, S. Sun-Mack, W. F. Miller, and Y. Chen (2012), Uncertainty Estimate of Surface Irradiances Computed with MODIS-, CALIPSO-, and CloudSat-Derived Cloud and Aerosol Properties, Surv. Geophys., 33, 395-412, doi:10.1007/s10712-012-9179-x.

Differences of modeled surface upward and downward longwave and shortwave irradiances are calculated using modeled irradiance computed with active sensor-derived and passive sensor-derived cloud and aerosol properties. The irradiance differences are calculated for various temporal and spatial scales, monthly gridded, monthly zonal, monthly global, and annual global. Using the irradiance differences, the uncertainty of surface irradiances is estimated. The uncertainty (1r) of the annual global surface downward longwave and shortwave is, respectively, 7 W m-2 (out of 345 W m-2) and 4 W m-2 (out of 192 W m-2), after known bias errors are removed. Similarly, the uncertainty of the annual global surface upward longwave and shortwave is, respectively, 3 W m-2 (out of 398 W m-2) and 3 W m-2 (out of 23 W m-2). The uncertainty is for modeled irradiances computed using cloud properties derived from imagers on a sun-synchronous orbit that covers the globe every day (e.g., moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer) or modeled irradiances computed for nadir view only active sensors on a sun-synchronous orbit such as Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation and CloudSat. If we assume that longwave and shortwave uncertainties are independent of each other, but up- and downward components are correlated with each other, the uncertainty in global annual mean net surface irradiance is 12 W m-2. One-sigma uncertainty bounds of the satellite-based net surface irradiance are 106 W m-2 and 130 W m-2.

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