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Norman G. Loeb
and
Natividad Manalo-Smith

Abstract

The direct radiative effect of aerosols (DREA) is defined as the difference between radiative fluxes in the absence and presence of aerosols. In this study, the direct radiative effect of aerosols is estimated for 46 months (March 2000–December 2003) of merged Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra global measurements over ocean. This analysis includes the contribution from clear regions in both clear and partly cloudy CERES footprints. MODIS–CERES narrow-to-broadband regressions are developed to convert clear-sky MODIS narrowband radiances to broadband shortwave (SW) radiances, and CERES clear-sky angular distribution models (ADMs) are used to estimate the corresponding top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes that are needed to determine the DREA. Clear-sky MODIS pixels are identified using two independent cloud masks: (i) the NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) algorithm that is used for inferring aerosol properties from MODIS on the CERES Single Scanner Footprint TOA/Surface Fluxes and Clouds (SSF) product (NOAA SSF); and (ii) the standard algorithm that is used by the MODIS aerosol group to produce the MODIS aerosol product (MOD04). Over global oceans, direct radiative cooling by aerosols for clear scenes that are identified from MOD04 is estimated to be 40% larger than for clear scenes from NOAA SSF (5.5 compared to 3.8 W m−2). Regionally, differences are largest in areas that are affected by dust aerosol, such as oceanic regions that are adjacent to the Sahara and Saudi Arabian deserts, and in northern Pacific Ocean regions that are influenced by dust transported from Asia. The net total-sky (clear and cloudy) DREA is negative (cooling) and is estimated to be −2.0 W m−2 from MOD04, and −1.6 W m−2 from NOAA SSF. The DREA is shown to have pronounced seasonal cycles in the Northern Hemisphere and large year-to-year fluctuations near deserts. However, no systematic trend in deseasonalized anomalies of the DREA is observed over the 46-month time series that is considered.

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G. Louis Smith
,
Natividad Manalo-Smith
, and
Lee M. Avis

Abstract

During January and August 1985, the scanning radiometers of the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (F-RBE) aboard the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) and the NOAA-9 satellite were operated in along- track scanning modes. Along-track scanning permits the study of many measurement problems. It provides the data for developing a limb-darkening model for a single site over a short period of time and also permits the identification of the scene from data taken at small nadir angles. The earth-emitted radiation measured by the scanners has been analyzed to produce limb-darkening models for a variety of scene types. Limb-darkening models relate the radiance in any given direction to the radiant flux. The scene types were computed using measurements within 1O° of zenith. The models have values near zenith of 1.02–1.09. The typical zenith values of the model are 1.06 for both day and night for FRBS, and for NOAA-9, 1.06 for day and 1.05 for night. Mean models are formed for the ERBS and NOAA-9 results and are found to differ less than 1%, the ERBS results being the higher. The models vary about 1% with latitude near zenith and agree with earlier models that were used to analyze ERBE data typically to 2%.

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Norman G. Loeb
,
Seiji Kato
,
Konstantin Loukachine
, and
Natividad Manalo-Smith

Abstract

The Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) provides coincident global cloud and aerosol properties together with reflected solar, emitted terrestrial longwave, and infrared window radiative fluxes. These data are needed to improve the understanding and modeling of the interaction between clouds, aerosols, and radiation at the top of the atmosphere, surface, and within the atmosphere. This paper describes the approach used to estimate top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes from instantaneous CERES radiance measurements on the Terra satellite. A key component involves the development of empirical angular distribution models (ADMs) that account for the angular dependence of the earth’s radiation field at the TOA. The CERES Terra ADMs are developed using 24 months of CERES radiances, coincident cloud and aerosol retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and meteorological parameters from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO)’s Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) Data Assimilation System (DAS) V4.0.3 product. Scene information for the ADMs is from MODIS retrievals and GEOS DAS V4.0.3 properties over the ocean, land, desert, and snow for both clear and cloudy conditions. Because the CERES Terra ADMs are global, and far more CERES data are available on Terra than were available from CERES on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the methodology used to define CERES Terra ADMs is different in many respects from that used to develop CERES TRMM ADMs, particularly over snow/sea ice, under cloudy conditions, and for clear scenes over land and desert.

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Norman G. Loeb
,
Konstantin Loukachine
,
Natividad Manalo-Smith
,
Bruce A. Wielicki
, and
David F. Young

Abstract

Top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) are estimated from empirical angular distribution models (ADMs) that convert instantaneous radiance measurements to TOA fluxes. This paper evaluates the accuracy of CERES TOA fluxes obtained from a new set of ADMs developed for the CERES instrument onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). The uncertainty in regional monthly mean reflected shortwave (SW) and emitted longwave (LW) TOA fluxes is less than 0.5 W m−2, based on comparisons with TOA fluxes evaluated by direct integration of the measured radiances. When stratified by viewing geometry, TOA fluxes from different angles are consistent to within 2% in the SW and 0.7% (or 2 W m−2) in the LW. In contrast, TOA fluxes based on ADMs from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) applied to the same CERES radiance measurements show a 10% relative increase with viewing zenith angle in the SW and a 3.5% (9 W m−2) decrease with viewing zenith angle in the LW. Based on multiangle CERES radiance measurements, 1° regional instantaneous TOA flux errors from the new CERES ADMs are estimated to be <10 W m−2 in the SW and <3.5 W m−2 in the LW. The errors show little or no dependence on cloud phase, cloud optical depth, and cloud infrared emissivity. An analysis of cloud radiative forcing (CRF) sensitivity to differences between ERBE and CERES TRMM ADMs, scene identification, and directional models of albedo as a function of solar zenith angle shows that ADM and clear-sky scene identification differences can lead to an 8 W m−2 root-mean-square (rms) difference in 1° daily mean SW CRF and a 4 W m−2 rms difference in LW CRF. In contrast, monthly mean SW and LW CRF differences reach 3 W m−2. CRF is found to be relatively insensitive to differences between the ERBE and CERES TRMM directional models.

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Norman G. Loeb
,
Seiji Kato
,
Konstantin Loukachine
,
Natividad Manalo-Smith
, and
David R. Doelling

Abstract

Errors in top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument due to uncertainties in radiance-to-flux conversion from CERES Terra angular distribution models (ADMs) are evaluated through a series of consistency tests. These tests show that the overall bias in regional monthly mean shortwave (SW) TOA flux is less than 0.2 W m−2 and the regional RMS error ranges from 0.70 to 1.4 W m−2. In contrast, SW TOA fluxes inferred using theoretical ADMs that assume clouds are plane parallel are overestimated by 3–4 W m−2 and exhibit a strong latitudinal dependence. In the longwave (LW), the bias error ranges from 0.2 to 0.4 W m−2 and regional RMS errors remain smaller than 0.7 W m−2. Global mean albedos derived from ADMs developed during the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) and applied to CERES measurements show a systematic increase with viewing zenith angle of 4%–8%, while albedos from the CERES Terra ADMs show a smaller increase of 1%–2%. The LW fluxes from the ERBE ADMs show a systematic decrease with viewing zenith angle of 2%–2.4%, whereas fluxes from the CERES Terra ADMs remain within 0.7%–0.8% at all angles. Based on several months of multiangle CERES along-track data, the SW TOA flux consistency between nadir- and oblique-viewing zenith angles is generally 5% (<17 W m−2) over land and ocean and 9% (26 W m−2) in polar regions, and LW TOA flux consistency is approximate 3% (7 W m−2) over all surfaces. Based on these results and a theoretically derived conversion between TOA flux consistency and TOA flux error, the best estimate of the error in CERES TOA flux due to the radiance-to-flux conversion is 3% (10 W m−2) in the SW and 1.8% (3–5 W m−2) in the LW. Monthly mean TOA fluxes based on ERBE ADMs are larger than monthly mean TOA fluxes based on CERES Terra ADMs by 1.8 and 1.3 W m−2 in the SW and LW, respectively.

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Norman G. Loeb
,
Bruce A. Wielicki
,
David R. Doelling
,
G. Louis Smith
,
Dennis F. Keyes
,
Seiji Kato
,
Natividad Manalo-Smith
, and
Takmeng Wong

Abstract

Despite recent improvements in satellite instrument calibration and the algorithms used to determine reflected solar (SW) and emitted thermal (LW) top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes, a sizeable imbalance persists in the average global net radiation at the TOA from satellite observations. This imbalance is problematic in applications that use earth radiation budget (ERB) data for climate model evaluation, estimate the earth’s annual global mean energy budget, and in studies that infer meridional heat transports. This study provides a detailed error analysis of TOA fluxes based on the latest generation of Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) gridded monthly mean data products [the monthly TOA/surface averages geostationary (SRBAVG-GEO)] and uses an objective constrainment algorithm to adjust SW and LW TOA fluxes within their range of uncertainty to remove the inconsistency between average global net TOA flux and heat storage in the earth–atmosphere system. The 5-yr global mean CERES net flux from the standard CERES product is 6.5 W m−2, much larger than the best estimate of 0.85 W m−2 based on observed ocean heat content data and model simulations. The major sources of uncertainty in the CERES estimate are from instrument calibration (4.2 W m−2) and the assumed value for total solar irradiance (1 W m−2). After adjustment, the global mean CERES SW TOA flux is 99.5 W m−2, corresponding to an albedo of 0.293, and the global mean LW TOA flux is 239.6 W m−2. These values differ markedly from previously published adjusted global means based on the ERB Experiment in which the global mean SW TOA flux is 107 W m−2 and the LW TOA flux is 234 W m−2.

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Norman G. Loeb
,
Natividad Manalo-Smith
,
Seiji Kato
,
Walter F. Miller
,
Shashi K. Gupta
,
Patrick Minnis
, and
Bruce A. Wielicki

Abstract

Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) investigates the critical role that clouds and aerosols play in modulating the radiative energy flow within the Earth–atmosphere system. CERES builds upon the foundation laid by previous missions, such as the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment, to provide highly accurate top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes together with coincident cloud and aerosol properties inferred from high-resolution imager measurements. This paper describes the method used to construct empirical angular distribution models (ADMs) for estimating shortwave, longwave, and window TOA radiative fluxes from CERES radiance measurements on board the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite. To construct the ADMs, multiangle CERES measurements are combined with coincident high-resolution Visible Infrared Scanner measurements and meteorological parameters from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts data assimilation product. The ADMs are stratified by scene types defined by parameters that have a strong influence on the angular dependence of Earth's radiation field at the TOA. Examples of how the new CERES ADMs depend upon the imager-based parameters are provided together with comparisons with existing models.

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