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Seasonal and interannual variations of top-of-atmosphere irradiance and cloud...

Kato, S., N. Loeb, P. Minnis, J. A. Francis, T. Charlock, D. A. Rutan, E. E. Clothiaux, and S. Sun-Mack (2006), Seasonal and interannual variations of top-of-atmosphere irradiance and cloud cover over polar regions derived from the CERES data set, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L19804, doi:10.1029/2006GL026685.

The daytime cloud fraction derived by the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) cloud algorithm using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) radiances over the Arctic from March 2000 through February 2004 increases at a rate of 0.047 per decade. The trend is significant at an 80% confidence level. The corresponding top-of-atmosphere (TOA) shortwave irradiances derived from CERES radiance measurements show less significant trend during this period. These results suggest that the influence of reduced Arctic sea ice cover on TOA reflected shortwave radiation is reduced by the presence of clouds and possibly compensated by the increase in cloud cover. The cloud fraction and TOA reflected shortwave irradiance over the Antarctic show no significant trend during the same period.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)