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  • Author or Editor: William L. Smith Jr. x
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Ryan C. Scott
Fred G. Rose
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
Norman G. Loeb
Seiji Kato
David R. Doelling
David A. Rutan
Patrick C. Taylor
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William L. Smith Jr.


Satellite observations from Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) radiometers have produced over two decades of world-class data documenting time–space variations in Earth’s top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiation budget. In addition to energy exchanges among Earth and space, climate studies require accurate information on radiant energy exchanges at the surface and within the atmosphere. The CERES Cloud Radiative Swath (CRS) data product extends the standard Single Scanner Footprint (SSF) data product by calculating a suite of radiative fluxes from the surface to TOA at the instantaneous CERES footprint scale using the NASA Langley Fu–Liou radiative transfer model. Here, we describe the CRS flux algorithm and evaluate its performance against a network of ground-based measurements and CERES TOA observations. CRS all-sky downwelling broadband fluxes show significant improvements in surface validation statistics relative to the parameterized fluxes on the SSF product, including a ∼30%–40% (∼20%) reduction in SW↓ (LW↓) root-mean-square error (RMSΔ), improved correlation coefficients, and the lowest SW↓ bias over most surface types. RMSΔ and correlation statistics improve over five different surface types under both overcast and clear-sky conditions. The global mean computed TOA outgoing LW radiation (OLR) remains within <1% (2–3 W m−2) of CERES observations, while the global mean reflected SW radiation (RSW) is excessive by ∼3.5% (∼9 W m−2) owing to cloudy-sky computation errors. As we highlight using data from two remote field campaigns, the CRS data product provides many benefits for studies requiring advanced surface radiative fluxes.

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