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  • Author or Editor: B. A. Wielicki x
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R. M. Welch
and
B. A. Wielicki

Abstract

Reflected fluxes are calculated for stratocumulus cloud fields as a function of sky cover, cloud aspect ratio, and cloud shape. Cloud liquid water volume is held invariant as cloud shape is varied so that the results can be utilized more effectively by general circulation models (GCM) and climate models.

The magnitude of the reflected flux differences between broken and plane-parallel cloudiness is of particular significance. On the basis of required accuracy in the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) program, an order of magnitude value of 10 W m−2 is used to estimate “significant differences” between plane-parallel and broken cloudiness. This limit is exceeded for cloud covers between 10% and 90%, indicating that plane-parallel calculations are not satisfactory at most values of cloud cover. The choice of cloud shape also leads to large differences in reflected fluxes. These differences may be traced to the anisotropic intensity pattern out the cloud sides, to the size and shape of the “holes” between clouds, and to variations in cloud area as viewed from the solar direction.

An empirical relationship for effective cloud cover is given at solar zenith angle of θ = 60°. This relationship allows for the relatively accurate (ΔF = 10–15 W m−2) computation of broken cloud field reflected fluxes from plane-parallel calculations. Although the present parameterization is limited to solar zenith angles near θ = 60°, this is an indication that further work may lead to reasonably accurate estimates of broken cloud field radiative properties using modified plane-parallel calculations, irrespective of assumed cloud shape.

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R. M. Welch
and
B. A. Wielicki

Abstract

A parameterization scheme is presented which allows the calculation of radiative reflected fluxes from a stratocumulus cloud field. The scheme is based upon plane-parallel calculations, such as delta-Eddington, and a simple procedure is outlined by which the plane-parallel fluxes may be transformed to those of the broken cloud case. This parameterization scheme has been tested for optical thicknesses ranging from τ=3 to 49, solar zenith angles ranging from θ0 = 0° to 72.5°, and all values of cloud cover. Plane-parallel calculations become increasingly more accurate as optical depth decreases. This suggests that calculations including broken cloudiness effects such as shadowing are probably unnecessary in thin cirrus or aerosol layers over water.

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L. H. Chambers
,
B. A. Wielicki
, and
N. G. Loeb

Abstract

Earth radiation budget measurements, important to climate monitoring and to validating climate models, require that radiances measured by satellite instruments be converted to hemispherical flux. This paper examines that problem theoretically, using inhomogeneous cloud models constructed from Landsat scenes of marine boundary layer clouds. The spherical harmonics discrete ordinates method (SHDOM) code is applied to the model scenes to compute full two-dimensional radiation fields, which then simulate measured radiances. Inversion to flux is performed by several different methods, including plane-parallel table lookup and empirical angular distribution models with three different ways of determining scene identification, to examine error sources and relative magnitudes. Using a simple plane-parallel table lookup results in unacceptably large flux bias errors of 11%–60%, depending on the orbital viewing geometry. This bias can be substantially reduced, to no more than 6%, by using empirical angular distribution models. Further improvement, to no more than 2% flux bias error, is obtained if known biases in optical-depth retrievals are taken into account when building the angular models. Last, the bias can be further reduced to a fraction of a percent using scene identification based on multiple views of the same area. There are limits, however, to the reduction in the instantaneous error with this approach. Trends in the flux error are also identified, in particular an equator-to-pole trend in the flux bias. Given the importance of satellite measurements for determining heat transport from equator to pole, this consistent bias should be kept in mind, and efforts should be made to reduce it in the future.

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E. O. Schmidt
,
R. F. Arduini
,
B. A. Wielicki
,
R. S. Stone
, and
S-C. Tsay

Abstract

Brightness temperature difference (BTD) values are calculated for selected Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-6) channels (3.9, 12.7 µm) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer channels (3.7, 12.0 µm). Daytime and nighttime discrimination of particle size information is possible given the infrared cloud extinction optical depth and the BTD value. BTD values are presented and compared for cirrus clouds composed of equivalent ice spheres (volume, surface area) versus randomly oriented hexagonal ice crystals. The effect of the hexagonal ice crystals is to increase the magnitude of the BTD values calculated relative to equivalent ice sphere (volume, surface area) BTDs. Equivalent spheres (volume or surface area) do not do a very good job of modeling hexagonal ice crystal effects on BTDs; however, the use of composite spheres improves the simulation and offers interesting prospects. Careful consideration of the number of Legendre polynomial coefficients used to fit the scattering phase functions is crucial to realistic modeling of cirrus BTDs. Surface and view-angle effects are incorporated to provide more realistic simulation.

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R. M. Welch
,
K. S. Kuo
,
B. A. Wielicki
,
S. K. Sengupta
, and
L. Parker

Abstract

The structural characteristics of stratocumulus cloud fields off the coast of southern California are investigated using LANDSAT Multispectral Scanner (MSS) imagery. Twelve scenes in this area are examined along with three other stratocumulus scenes near San Francisco, over central Oregon, and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Results from this initial study of stratocumulus clouds indicate that 1) cloud-background threshold selection techniques based upon edge detection gradient assumptions are not appropriate for cloud segmentation and classification algorithms; 2) cloud size distributions obey a power law; 3) cell horizontal aspect ratio increases with cell diameter, 4) stratocumulus clouds are bifractal in nature with fractal dimension of about d ≈ 1.2 for cells with diameter D < 0.5 km and d ≈ 1.5 for cells with D > 0.5 km; 5) stratocumulus cloud fields appear to be homogeneous over regions of about 100 km × 100 km, a much smaller region than the 2.5° × 2.5° boxes to be used in the ISCCP regional averaging algorithms; and 6) structural properties of stratocumulus clouds observed off the coast of southern California are similar to those properties observed for stratocumulus clouds at three other locations.

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Takmeng Wong
,
Bruce A. Wielicki
,
Robert B. Lee III
,
G. Louis Smith
,
Kathryn A. Bush
, and
Joshua K. Willis

Abstract

This paper gives an update on the observed decadal variability of the earth radiation budget (ERB) using the latest altitude-corrected Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE)/Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) Nonscanner Wide Field of View (WFOV) instrument Edition3 dataset. The effects of the altitude correction are to modify the original reported decadal changes in tropical mean (20°N to 20°S) longwave (LW), shortwave (SW), and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s from 3.1, −2.4, and −0.7 to 1.6, −3.0, and 1.4 W m−2, respectively. In addition, a small SW instrument drift over the 15-yr period was discovered during the validation of the WFOV Edition3 dataset. A correction was developed and applied to the Edition3 dataset at the data user level to produce the WFOV Edition3_Rev1 dataset. With this final correction, the ERBS Nonscanner-observed decadal changes in tropical mean LW, SW, and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s now stand at 0.7, −2.1, and 1.4 W m−2, respectively, which are similar to the observed decadal changes in the High-Resolution Infrared Radiometer Sounder (HIRS) Pathfinder OLR and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) version FD record but disagree with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder ERB record. Furthermore, the observed interannual variability of near-global ERBS WFOV Edition3_Rev1 net radiation is found to be remarkably consistent with the latest ocean heat storage record for the overlapping time period of 1993 to 1999. Both datasets show variations of roughly 1.5 W m−2 in planetary net heat balance during the 1990s.

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C. M. Roithmayr
,
C. Lukashin
,
P. W. Speth
,
D. F. Young
,
B. A. Wielicki
,
K. J. Thome
, and
G. Kopp
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C. M. Roithmayr
,
C. Lukashin
,
P. W. Speth
,
D. F. Young
,
B. A. Wielicki
,
K. J. Thome
, and
G. Kopp

Abstract

Highly accurate measurements of Earth’s thermal infrared and reflected solar radiation are required for detecting and predicting long-term climate change. Consideration is given to the concept of using the International Space Station to test instruments and techniques that would eventually be used on a dedicated mission, such as the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO). In particular, a quantitative investigation is performed to determine whether it is possible to use measurements obtained with a highly accurate (0.3%, with 95% confidence) reflected solar radiation spectrometer to calibrate similar, less accurate instruments in other low Earth orbits. Estimates of numbers of samples useful for intercalibration are made with the aid of yearlong simulations of orbital motion. Results of this study support the conclusion that the International Space Station orbit is ideally suited for the purpose of intercalibration between spaceborne sensors.

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Bruce A. Wielicki
,
Bruce R. Barkstrom
,
Edwin F. Harrison
,
Robert B. Lee III
,
G. Louis Smith
, and
John E. Cooper

Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) is an investigation to examine the role of cloud/radiation feedback in the Earth's climate system. The CERES broadband scanning radiometers are an improved version of the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) radiometers. The CERES instruments will fly on several National Aeronautics and Space Administration Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites starting in 1998 and extending over at least 15 years. The CERES science investigations will provide data to extend the ERBE climate record of top-of-atmosphere shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) radiative fluxes. CERES will also combine simultaneous cloud property data derived using EOS narrowband imagers to provide a consistent set of cloud/radiation data, including SW and LW radiative fluxes at the surface and at several selected levels within the atmosphere. CERES data are expected to provide top-of-atmosphere radiative fluxes with a factor of 2 to 3 less error than the ERBE data. Estimates of radiative fluxes at the surface and especially within the atmosphere will be a much greater challenge but should also show significant improvements over current capabilities.

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Norman G. Loeb
,
Kory J. Priestley
,
David P. Kratz
,
Erika B. Geier
,
Richard N. Green
,
Bruce A. Wielicki
,
Patricia O’Rawe Hinton
, and
Sandra K. Nolan

Abstract

A new method for determining unfiltered shortwave (SW), longwave (LW), and window radiances from filtered radiances measured by the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) satellite instrument is presented. The method uses theoretically derived regression coefficients between filtered and unfiltered radiances that are a function of viewing geometry, geotype, and whether cloud is present. Relative errors in instantaneous unfiltered radiances from this method are generally well below 1% for SW radiances (std dev ≈0.4% or ≈1 W m−2 equivalent flux), less than 0.2% for LW radiances (std dev ≈0.1% or ≈0.3 W m−2 equivalent flux), and less than 0.2% (std dev ≈0.1%) for window channel radiances.

When three months (June, July, and August of 1998) of CERES Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE)-like unfiltered radiances from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite between 20°S and 20°N are compared with archived Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) scanner measurements for the same months over a 5-yr period (1985–89), significant scene-type dependent differences are observed in the SW channel. Full-resolution CERES SW unfiltered radiances are ≈7.5% (≈3 W m−2 equivalent diurnal average flux) lower than ERBS over clear ocean, as compared with ≈1.7% (≈4 W m−2 equivalent diurnal average flux) for deep convective clouds and ≈6% (≈4–6 W m−2 equivalent diurnal average flux) for clear land and desert. This dependence on scene type is shown to be partly caused by differences in spatial resolution between CERES and ERBS and by errors in the unfiltering method used in ERBS. When the CERES measurements are spatially averaged to match the ERBS spatial resolution and the unfiltering scheme proposed in this study is applied to both CERES and ERBS, the ERBS all-sky SW radiances increase by ≈1.7%, and the CERES radiances are now consistently ≈3.5%–5% lower than the modified ERBS values for all scene types. Further study is needed to determine the cause for this remaining difference, and even calibration errors cannot be ruled out. CERES LW radiances are closer to ERBS values for individual scene types—CERES radiances are within ≈0.1% (≈0.3 W m−2) of ERBS over clear ocean and ≈0.5% (≈1.5 W m−2) over clear land and desert.

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