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M. Lindauer, H. P. Schmid, R. Grote, R. Steinbrecher, M. Mauder, and B. Wolpert


Global incoming shortwave radiation (Rg) is the energy source for the majority of biogeochemical processes on Earth as well as for photovoltaic power production. Existing simple site-specific models to estimate Rg commonly use the daily range of air temperature as input variables. Here, the authors present a simple model for incoming shortwave radiation, requiring only screen-level relative humidity data (and site-specific astronomical information). The model was developed and parameterized using high-quality global radiation data covering a broad range of climate conditions. It was evaluated at independent sites, which were not involved in the process of model development and parameterization. The mean 1:1 slope was 1.02 with an average r 2 of 0.98. Normalized root-mean-square error (NRMSE) averaged at 43%. Despite its simplicity, the new model clearly outperforms conventional approaches, and it comes close to more labor- and data-intensive alternative models.

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