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P. Pilewskie and S. Twomey

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O. Coddington, J. L. Lean, P. Pilewskie, M. Snow, and D. Lindholm

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We present a new climate data record for total solar irradiance and solar spectral irradiance between 1610 and the present day with associated wavelength and time-dependent uncertainties and quarterly updates. The data record, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Data Record (CDR) program, provides a robust, sustainable, and scientifically defensible record of solar irradiance that is of sufficient length, consistency, and continuity for use in studies of climate variability and climate change on multiple time scales and for user groups spanning climate modeling, remote sensing, and natural resource and renewable energy industries. The data record, jointly developed by the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), is constructed from solar irradiance models that determine the changes with respect to quiet sun conditions when facular brightening and sunspot darkening features are present on the solar disk where the magnitude of the changes in irradiance are determined from the linear regression of a proxy magnesium (Mg) II index and sunspot area indices against the approximately decade-long solar irradiance measurements of the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE). To promote long-term data usage and sharing for a broad range of users, the source code, the dataset itself, and supporting documentation are archived at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). In the future, the dataset will also be available through the LASP Interactive Solar Irradiance Data Center (LISIRD) for user-specified time periods and spectral ranges of interest.

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A. C. Kren, D. R. Marsh, A. K. Smith, and P. Pilewskie

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The response of the Northern Hemisphere winter stratosphere to the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) is examined using the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model. A 200-yr preindustrial control simulation that includes fully interactive chemistry, ocean and sea ice, constant solar forcing, and greenhouse gases fixed to 1850 levels is analyzed. Based on principal component analysis, the PDO spatial pattern, frequency, and amplitude agree well with the observed PDO over the period 1900–2014. Consistent with previous studies, the positive phase of the PDO is marked by a strengthened Aleutian low and a wave train of geopotential height anomalies reminiscent of the Pacific–North American pattern in the troposphere. In addition to a tropospheric signal, a zonal-mean warming of about 2 K in the northern polar stratosphere and a zonal-mean zonal wind decrease of about 4 m s−1 in the PDO positive phase are found. When compositing PDO positive or negative winters during neutral El Niño years, the magnitude is reduced and depicts an early winter forcing of the stratosphere compared to a late winter response from El Niño. Contamination between PDO and ENSO signals is also discussed. Stratospheric sudden warmings occur 63% of the time in the PDO positive phase compared to 40% in the negative phase. Although this sudden warming frequency is not statistically significant, it is quantitatively consistent with NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data and recent observational evidence linking the PDO positive phase to weak stratospheric vortex events.

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G. L. Stephens, R. G. Ellingson, J. Vitko Jr., W. Bolton, T. P. Tooman, F. P. J. Valero, P. Minnis, P. Pilewskie, G. S. Phipps, S. Sekelsky, J. R. Carswell, S. D. Miller, A. Benedetti, R. B. McCoy, R. F. McCoy Jr., A. Lederbuhr, and R. Bambha

The U.S. Department of Energy has established an unmanned aerospace vehicle (UAV) measurement program. The purpose of this paper is to describe the evolution of the program since its inception, review the progress of the program, summarize the measurement capabilities developed under the program, illustrate key results from the various UAV campaigns carried out to date, and provide a sense of the future direction of the program. The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM)–UAV program has demonstrated how measurements from unmanned aircraft platforms operating under the various constraints imposed by different science experiments can contribute to our understanding of cloud and radiative processes. The program was first introduced in 1991 and has evolved in the form of four phases of activity each culminating in one or more flight campaigns. A total of 8 flight campaigns produced over 140 h of science flights using three different UAV platforms. The UAV platforms and their capabilities are described as are the various phases of the program development. Examples of data collected from various campaigns highlight the powerful nature of the observing system developed under the auspices of the ARM–UAV program and confirm the viability of the UAV platform for the kinds of research of interest to ARM and the clouds and radiation community as a whole. The specific examples include applications of the data in the study of radiative transfer through clouds, the evaluation of cloud parameterizations, and the development and evaluation of cloud remote sensing methods. A number of notable and novel achievements of the program are also highlighted.

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D.L. Westphal, S. Kinne, P. Pilewskie, J.M. Alvarez, P. Minnis, D.F. Young, S.G. Benjamin, W.L. Eberhard, R.A. Kropfli, S.Y. Matrosov, J.B. Snider, T.A. Uttal, A.J. Heymsfield, G.G. Mace, S.H. Melfi, D.O'C. Starr, and J.J. Soden

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Observations from a wide variety of instruments and platforms are used to validate many different aspects of a three-dimensional mesoscale simulation of the dynamics, cloud microphysics, and radiative transfer of a cirrus cloud system observed on 26 November 1991 during the second cirrus field program of the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Program (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE-II) located in southeastern Kansas. The simulation was made with a mesoscale dynamical model utilizing a simplified bulk water cloud scheme and a spectral model of radiative transfer. Expressions for cirrus optical properties for solar and infrared wavelength intervals as functions of ice water content and effective particle radius are modified for the midlatitude cirrus observed during FIRE-II and are shown to compare favorably with explicit size-resolving calculations of the optical properties. Rawinsonde, Raman lidar, and satellite data are evaluated and combined to produce a time–height cross section of humidity at the central FIRE-II site for model verification. Due to the wide spacing of rawinsondes and their infrequent release, important moisture features go undetected and are absent in the conventional analyses. The upper-tropospheric humidities used for the initial conditions were generally less than 50% of those inferred from satellite data, yet over the course of a 24-h simulation the model produced a distribution that closely resembles the large-scale features of the satellite analysis. The simulated distribution and concentration of ice compares favorably with data from radar, lidar, satellite, and aircraft. Direct comparison is made between the radiative transfer simulation and data from broadband and spectral sensors and inferred quantities such as cloud albedo, optical depth, and top-of-the-atmosphere 11-µm brightness temperature, and the 6.7-µm brightness temperature. Comparison is also made with theoretical heating rates calculated using the rawinsonde data and measured ice water size distributions near the central site. For this case study, and perhaps for most other mesoscale applications, the differences between the observed and simulated radiative quantities are due more to errors in the prediction of ice water content, than to errors in the optical properties or the radiative transfer solution technique.

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J. A. Curry, P. V. Hobbs, M. D. King, D. A. Randall, P. Minnis, G. A. Isaac, J. O. Pinto, T. Uttal, A. Bucholtz, D. G. Cripe, H. Gerber, C. W. Fairall, T. J. Garrett, J. Hudson, J. M. Intrieri, C. Jakob, T. Jensen, P. Lawson, D. Marcotte, L. Nguyen, P. Pilewskie, A. Rangno, D. C. Rogers, K. B. Strawbridge, F. P. J. Valero, A. G. Williams, and D. Wylie

An overview is given of the First ISCCP Regional Experiment Arctic Clouds Experiment that was conducted during April–July 1998. The principal goal of the field experiment was to gather the data needed to examine the impact of arctic clouds on the radiation exchange between the surface, atmosphere, and space, and to study how the surface influences the evolution of boundary layer clouds. The observations will be used to evaluate and improve climate model parameterizations of cloud and radiation processes, satellite remote sensing of cloud and surface characteristics, and understanding of cloud–radiation feedbacks in the Arctic. The experiment utilized four research aircraft that flew over surface-based observational sites in the Arctic Ocean and at Barrow, Alaska. This paper describes the programmatic and scientific objectives of the project, the experimental design (including research platforms and instrumentation), the conditions that were encountered during the field experiment, and some highlights of preliminary observations, modeling, and satellite remote sensing studies.

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Bruce A. Wielicki, D. F. Young, M. G. Mlynczak, K. J. Thome, S. Leroy, J. Corliss, J. G. Anderson, C. O. Ao, R. Bantges, F. Best, K. Bowman, H. Brindley, J. J. Butler, W. Collins, J. A. Dykema, D. R. Doelling, D. R. Feldman, N. Fox, X. Huang, R. Holz, Y. Huang, Z. Jin, D. Jennings, D. G. Johnson, K. Jucks, S. Kato, D. B. Kirk-Davidoff, R. Knuteson, G. Kopp, D. P. Kratz, X. Liu, C. Lukashin, A. J. Mannucci, N. Phojanamongkolkij, P. Pilewskie, V. Ramaswamy, H. Revercomb, J. Rice, Y. Roberts, C. M. Roithmayr, F. Rose, S. Sandford, E. L. Shirley, Sr. W. L. Smith, B. Soden, P. W. Speth, W. Sun, P. C. Taylor, D. Tobin, and X. Xiong

The Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) mission will provide a calibration laboratory in orbit for the purpose of accurately measuring and attributing climate change. CLARREO measurements establish new climate change benchmarks with high absolute radiometric accuracy and high statistical confidence across a wide range of essential climate variables. CLARREO's inherently high absolute accuracy will be verified and traceable on orbit to Système Internationale (SI) units. The benchmarks established by CLARREO will be critical for assessing changes in the Earth system and climate model predictive capabilities for decades into the future as society works to meet the challenge of optimizing strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The CLARREO benchmarks are derived from measurements of the Earth's thermal infrared spectrum (5–50 μm), the spectrum of solar radiation reflected by the Earth and its atmosphere (320–2300 nm), and radio occultation refractivity from which accurate temperature profiles are derived. The mission has the ability to provide new spectral fingerprints of climate change, as well as to provide the first orbiting radiometer with accuracy sufficient to serve as the reference transfer standard for other space sensors, in essence serving as a “NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology] in orbit.” CLARREO will greatly improve the accuracy and relevance of a wide range of space-borne instruments for decadal climate change. Finally, CLARREO has developed new metrics and methods for determining the accuracy requirements of climate observations for a wide range of climate variables and uncertainty sources. These methods should be useful for improving our understanding of observing requirements for most climate change observations.

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