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John J. Deluisi and Carlton L. Mateer

Abstract

The optimum statistical inversion technique is applied to the evaluation of Umkehr observations from Arosa (46.5N, 9.4E), Aspendale (38.0S, 145.IE) and Tallahassee (30.2N, 84.2W). A Priori statistical information on the vertical ozone distribution is obtained from 511 balloon-sounding profiles at Boulder (40.0N, 105.1W). These latter data are also used to develop a regression method for obtaining a first guess at the O2 distribution, using total O2 as the independent variable. The ozone profiles inferred from the statistical method, when compared with concurrent direct measurements, display a significant improvement over profiles derived by the method in use at the World Ozone Data Center, Most of this improvement is attributable to the better first guess based on the total O2 regression. It is concluded that the utility of Umkehr observations is mainly restricted to estimation of the high-level O2 distribution above the main O2 maximum. For inferences about the ozone distribution at and below the maximum, effort should be directed toward regression techniques using total ozone as the independent variable.

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John J. DeLuisi and Paul M. Furukawa

Abstract

It is pointed out that the anomalous seasonal variation in the worldwide ozone concentration above 40 km deduced from Umkehr measurements is opposite to the seasonal variation in atmospheric turbidity. The maximum and minimum seasonal variation in turbidity is used to estimate a haze correction to an Umkehr observation. From a comparison of ozone concentration deduced from corrected and uncorrected Umkehrs it is noted that 1) increased turbidity reduces the ozone concentration at 45 km, and 2) the maximum seasonal change in turbidity can nearly, if not entirely, account for the maximum seasonal change (about 2 μmb) in ozone concentration at 45 km.

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John A. Augustine, John J. DeLuisi, and Charles N. Long

A surface radiation budget observing network (SURFRAD) has been established for the United States to support satellite retrieval validation, modeling, and climate, hydrology, and weather research. The primary measurements are the downwelling and upwelling components of broadband solar and thermal infrared irradiance. A hallmark of the network is the measurement and computation of ancillary parameters important to the transmission of radiation. SURFRAD commenced operation in 1995. Presently, it is made up of six stations in diverse climates, including the moist subtropical environment of the U.S. southeast, the cool and dry northern plains, and the hot and arid desert southwest. Network operation involves a rigorous regimen of frequent calibration, quality assurance, and data quality control. An efficient supporting infrastructure has been created to gather, check, and disseminate the basic data expeditiously. Quality controlled daily processed data files from each station are usually available via the Internet within a day of real time. Data from SURFRAD have been used to validate measurements from NASA's Earth Observing System series of satellites, satellite-based retrievals of surface erythematogenic radiation, the national ultraviolet index, and real-time National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) products. It has also been used for carbon sequestration studies, to check radiative transfer codes in various physical models, for basic research and instruction at universities, climate research, and for many other applications. Two stations now have atmospheric energy flux and soil heat flux instrumentation, making them full surface energy balance sites. It is hoped that eventually all SURFRAD stations will have this capability. A surface radiation budget observing network (SURFRAD) has been established for the United States to support satellite retrieval validation, modeling, and climate, hydrology, and weather research. The primary measurements are the downwelling and upwelling components of broadband solar and thermal infrared irradiance. A hallmark of the network is the measurement and computation of ancillary parameters important to the transmission of radiation. SURFRAD commenced operation in 1995. Presently, it is made up of six stations in diverse climates, including the moist subtropical environment of the U.S. southeast, the cool and dry northern plains, and the hot and arid desert southwest. Network operation involves a rigorous regimen of frequent calibration, quality assurance, and data quality control. An efficient supporting infrastructure has been created to gather, check, and disseminate the basic data expeditiously. Quality controlled daily processed data files from each station are usually available via the Internet within a day of real time. Data from SURFRAD have been used to validate measurements from NASA's Earth Observing System series of satellites, satellite-based retrievals of surface erythematogenic radiation, the national ultraviolet index, and real-time National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) products. It has also been used for carbon sequestration studies, to check radiative transfer codes in various physical models, for basic research and instruction at universities, climate research, and for many other applications. Two stations now have atmospheric energy flux and soil heat flux instrumentation, making them full surface energy balance sites. It is hoped that eventually all SURFRAD stations will have this capability.

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Kathleen O. Lantz, Patrick Disterhoft, John J. DeLuisi, Edward Early, Ambler Thompson, Dave Bigelow, and James Slusser

Abstract

In the United States, there are several federal agencies interested in the effects of UV radiation, which has resulted in the establishment of UV monitoring programs each with their own instrumentation and sites designed to address their specific needs. In 1993, participating agencies of the U.S. Global Change Research Program organized a UV Panel for coordinating the different agencies’ programs in order to ensure that UV data are intercalibrated, have common quality assurance and control procedures, and that the efforts among agencies are not duplicated.

In order to achieve these goals, in 1994 the UV Panel recommended formation of the U.S. Central UV Calibration Facility (CUCF), which is operated by the Surface Radiation and Research Branch of the Air Resources Laboratory of National and Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. The CUCF is responsible for characterizing and calibrating UV measuring instruments from several U.S. federal agencies. Part of this effort is to calibrate UVB broadband radiometers from these agencies. The CUCF has three Yankee Environmental Systems (YES UVB-1) and three Solar Light (SL 501A) broadband radiometers as reference standards that are routinely calibrated. For the past three years, clear-sky erythema calibration factors were determined for these standard UVB broadband radiometers by using simultaneously measured erythema-weighted irradiance determined during the annual North American Intercomparison. Comparisons between erythemally weighted irradiance calculated spectra supplied by spectroradiometers typically agreed better than ±2% for solar zenith angles less than 60°. The spectroradiometers were participating in an intercomparison event organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the CUCF.

In this article, the calibration methodology is described for transferring the calibration from the spectroradiometers to the CUCF’s standard broadband radiometers. The CUCF standard broadband radiometers are used to calibrate UVB broadband radiometers from several U.S. UV monitoring networks. Erythemal calibration factors for the CUCF’s YES UVB-1 standard broadband radiometer triad are reported for 1994, 1995, and 1996. Erythemal calibration factors for CUCF’s SL 501A standard broadband radiometer triad are reported for 1996.

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Seth Nemesure, Robert D. Cess, Ellsworth G. Dutton, John J. Deluisi, Zhanqing Li, and Henry G. Leighton

Abstract

Recent data from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) have raised the question as to whether or not the addition of clouds to the atmospheric column can decrease the top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA) albedo over bright snow-covered surfaces. To address this issue, ERBE shortwave pixel measurements have been collocated with surface insolation measurements made at two snow-covered locations: the South Pole and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Both collocated datasets show a negative correlation (with solar zenith angle variability removed) between TOA albedo and surface insulation. Because increased cloudiness acts to reduce surface insulation, these negative correlations demonstrate that clouds increase the TOA albedo at both snow-covered locations.

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Robert D. Cess, Ellsworth G. Dutton, John J. Deluisi, and Feng Jiang

Abstract

Two separate datasets both of which provide measurements of net downward shortwave radiation have been combined, so as to provide a means of critically examining methods for transferring satellite measurements to the surface. This is further facilitated through interfacing the two datasets with an atmospheric shortwave-radiation model. One dataset comprises near-surface measurements made at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory Tower while the other consists of collocated satellite pixel measurements from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment.

This study amplifies previous suggestions that surface-shortwave absorption is a more meaningful quantity, for climate studies, than is surface insolation. The former should not, however, be evaluated from the latter through use of a surface albedo, since surface albedo is not solely a surface property nor can it easily be evaluated from satellite measurements. It is further demonstrated that a direct evaluation of surface shortwave absorption can be more accurately obtained from satellite measurements than can surface insolation. Specifically, a linear slope-offset relationship exists between surface and surface-atmosphere shortwave absorption, and an algorithm is suggested for transferring satellite shortwave measurements to surface-shortwave absorption. The present study is directed solely at clear-sky conditions because the clear-sky top-to-surface transfer serves as a necessary prerequisite towards treating both clear and overcast conditions.

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John A. Augustine, Christopher R. Cornwall, Gary B. Hodges, Charles N. Long, Carlos I. Medina, and John J. DeLuisi

Abstract

Over the past decade, networks of Multifilter Rotating Shadowband Radiometers (MFRSR) and automated sun photometers have been established in the United States to monitor aerosol properties. The MFRSR alternately measures diffuse and global irradiance in six narrow spectral bands and a broadband channel of the solar spectrum, from which the direct normal component for each may be inferred. Its 500-nm channel mimics sun photometer measurements and thus is a source of aerosol optical depth information. Automatic data reduction methods are needed because of the high volume of data produced by the MFRSR. In addition, these instruments are often not calibrated for absolute irradiance and must be periodically calibrated for optical depth analysis using the Langley method. This process involves extrapolation to the signal the MFRSR would measure at the top of the atmosphere (I λ0). Here, an automated clear-sky identification algorithm is used to screen MFRSR 500-nm measurements for suitable calibration data. The clear-sky MFRSR measurements are subsequently used to construct a set of calibration Langley plots from which a mean I λ0 is computed. This calibration I λ0 may be subsequently applied to any MFRSR 500-nm measurement within the calibration period to retrieve aerosol optical depth. This method is tested on a 2-month MFRSR dataset from the Table Mountain NOAA Surface Radiation Budget Network (SURFRAD) station near Boulder, Colorado. The resultant I λ0 is applied to two Asian dust–related high air pollution episodes that occurred within the calibration period on 13 and 17 April 2001. Computed aerosol optical depths for 17 April range from approximately 0.30 to 0.40, and those for 13 April vary from background levels to >0.30. Errors in these retrievals were estimated to range from ±0.01 to ±0.05, depending on the solar zenith angle. The calculations are compared with independent MFRSR-based aerosol optical depth retrievals at the Pawnee National Grasslands, 85 km to the northeast of Table Mountain, and to sun-photometer-derived aerosol optical depths at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, 50 km to the south. Both the Table Mountain and Golden stations are situated within a few kilometers of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, whereas the Pawnee station is on the eastern plains of Colorado. Time series of aerosol optical depth from Pawnee and Table Mountain stations compare well for 13 April when, according to the Naval Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System, an upper-level Asian dust plume enveloped most of Colorado. Aerosol optical depths at the Golden station for that event are generally greater than those at Table Mountain and Pawnee, possibly because of the proximity of Golden to Denver's urban aerosol plume. The dust over Colorado was primarily surface based on 17 April. On that day, aerosol optical depths at Table Mountain and Golden are similar but are 2 times the magnitude of those at Pawnee. This difference is attributed to meteorological conditions that favored air stagnation in the planetary boundary layer along the Front Range, and a west-to-east gradient in aerosol concentration. The magnitude and timing of the aerosol optical depth measurements at Table Mountain for these events are found to be consistent with independent measurements made at NASA Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) stations at Missoula, Montana, and at Bondville, Illinois.

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Robert D. Cess, Seth Nemesure, Ellsworth G. Dutton, John J. Deluisi, Gerald L. Potter, and Jean-Jacques Morcrette

Abstract

Two datasets have been combined to demonstrate how the availability of more comprehensive datasets could serve to elucidate the shortwave radiative impact of clouds on both the atmospheric column and the surface. These datasets consist of two measurements of net downward shortwave radiation: one of near-surface measurements made at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory tower, and the other of collocated top-of-the-atmosphere measurements from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment. Output from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts General Circulation Model also has been used as an aid in interpreting the data, while the data have in turn been employed to validate the model's shortwave radiation code as it pertains to cloud radiation properties. Combined, the datasets and model demonstrate a strategy for determining under what conditions the shortwave radiative impact of clouds leads to a heating or cooling of the atmospheric column. The datasets also show, in terms of a linear slope-offset algorithm for retrieving the net downward shortwave radiation at the surface from satellite measurements, that the clouds present during this study produced a modest negative bias in the retrieved surface flux relative to that inferred from a clear-sky algorithm.

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Rolf Philipona, Claus Fröhlich, Klaus Dehne, John DeLuisi, John Augustine, Ellsworth Dutton, Don Nelson, Bruce Forgan, Peter Novotny, John Hickey, Steven P. Love, Steven Bender, Bruce McArthur, Atsumu Ohmura, John H. Seymour, John S. Foot, Masataka Shiobara, Francisco P. J. Valero, and Anthony W. Strawa

Abstract

With the aim of improving the consistency of terrestrial and atmospheric longwave radiation measurements within the Baseline Surface Radiation Network, five Eppley Precision Infrared Radiometer (PIR) pyrgeometers and one modified Meteorological Research Flight (MRF) pyrgeometer were individually calibrated by 11 specialist laboratories. The round-robin experiment was conducted in a “blind” sense in that the participants had no knowledge of the results of others until the whole series of calibrations had ended. The responsivities C(μV/W m−2) determined by 6 of the 11 institutes were within about 2% of the median for all five PIR pyrgeometers. Among the six laboratories, the absolute deviation around the median of the deviations of the five instruments is less than 1%. This small scatter suggests that PIR pyrgeometers were stable at least during the two years of the experiment and that the six different calibration devices reproduce the responsivity C of PIR pyrgeometers consistently and within the precision required for climate applications. The results also suggest that the responsivity C can be determined without simultaneous determination of the dome correction factor k, if the temperature difference between pyrgeometer body and dome is negligible during calibration. For field measurements, however, k has to be precisely known. The calibration of the MRF pyrgeometer, although not performed by all institutes, also showed satisfactory results.

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Randall M. Dole, J. Ryan Spackman, Matthew Newman, Gilbert P. Compo, Catherine A. Smith, Leslie M. Hartten, Joseph J. Barsugli, Robert S. Webb, Martin P. Hoerling, Robert Cifelli, Klaus Wolter, Christopher D. Barnet, Maria Gehne, Ronald Gelaro, George N. Kiladis, Scott Abbott, Elena Akish, John Albers, John M. Brown, Christopher J. Cox, Lisa Darby, Gijs de Boer, Barbara DeLuisi, Juliana Dias, Jason Dunion, Jon Eischeid, Christopher Fairall, Antonia Gambacorta, Brian K. Gorton, Andrew Hoell, Janet Intrieri, Darren Jackson, Paul E. Johnston, Richard Lataitis, Kelly M. Mahoney, Katherine McCaffrey, H. Alex McColl, Michael J. Mueller, Donald Murray, Paul J. Neiman, William Otto, Ola Persson, Xiao-Wei Quan, Imtiaz Rangwala, Andrea J. Ray, David Reynolds, Emily Riley Dellaripa, Karen Rosenlof, Naoko Sakaeda, Prashant D. Sardeshmukh, Laura C. Slivinski, Lesley Smith, Amy Solomon, Dustin Swales, Stefan Tulich, Allen White, Gary Wick, Matthew G. Winterkorn, Daniel E. Wolfe, and Robert Zamora

Abstract

Forecasts by mid-2015 for a strong El Niño during winter 2015/16 presented an exceptional scientific opportunity to accelerate advances in understanding and predictions of an extreme climate event and its impacts while the event was ongoing. Seizing this opportunity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initiated an El Niño Rapid Response (ENRR), conducting the first field campaign to obtain intensive atmospheric observations over the tropical Pacific during El Niño.

The overarching ENRR goal was to determine the atmospheric response to El Niño and the implications for predicting extratropical storms and U.S. West Coast rainfall. The field campaign observations extended from the central tropical Pacific to the West Coast, with a primary focus on the initial tropical atmospheric response that links El Niño to its global impacts. NOAA deployed its Gulfstream-IV (G-IV) aircraft to obtain observations around organized tropical convection and poleward convective outflow near the heart of El Niño. Additional tropical Pacific observations were obtained by radiosondes launched from Kiritimati , Kiribati, and the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown, and in the eastern North Pacific by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Global Hawk unmanned aerial system. These observations were all transmitted in real time for use in operational prediction models. An X-band radar installed in Santa Clara, California, helped characterize precipitation distributions. This suite supported an end-to-end capability extending from tropical Pacific processes to West Coast impacts. The ENRR observations were used during the event in operational predictions. They now provide an unprecedented dataset for further research to improve understanding and predictions of El Niño and its impacts.

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