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Annual Cycle of Surface Longwave Radiation

Mlynczak, P. E., G. L. S. Smith, A. C. Wilber, and P. Stackhouse (2011), Annual Cycle of Surface Longwave Radiation, J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 50, 1212-1224, doi:10.1175/2011JAMC2663.1.

The annual cycles of upward and downward longwave fluxes at the earth’s surface are investigated by use of the NASA Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Surface Radiation Budget Dataset. Principal component analysis is used to quantify the annual cycles. Because of the immense difference between the heat capacity of land and ocean, the surface of the earth is partitioned into these two categories. Over land, the first principal component describes over 95% of the variance of the annual cycle of the upward and downward longwave fluxes. Over ocean the first term describes more than 87% of these annual cycles. Empirical orthogonal functions show the corresponding geographical distributions of these cycles. Phaseplane diagrams of the annual cycles of upward longwave fluxes as a function of net shortwave flux show the thermal inertia of land and ocean.

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