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Dominik Michel
,
Rolf Philipona
,
Christian Ruckstuhl
,
Roland Vogt
, and
Laurent Vuilleumier

Abstract

Net radiation flux in correlation with surface energy budget, snowmelt, glacier ice balance, and forest or agricultural flux exchange investigations is measured in numerous field experiments. Instrument costs and energy consumption versus performance and uncertainty of net radiation instruments has been widely discussed. Here the authors analyze and show performance and uncertainty of two Kipp and Zonen CNR1 net radiometers, which were compared to high standard reference radiation instruments measuring individual shortwave and longwave downward and upward flux components. The intercomparison was aimed at investigating the performance of the radiometers under different climatological conditions and was made over one year at the midlatitude Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) station in Payerne, Switzerland (490 MSL). Of the two CNR1 radiometers tested, one was installed in a ventilation and heating system, whereas the other was mounted without ventilation and heating. Uncertainties of the different flux components were found to be larger for shortwave than longwave radiation and larger for downward than upward components. Using the single sensitivity coefficient provided by the manufacturer, which for CNR1 radiometers conditions using all four sensors, rather large root-mean-square differences between 2 and 14 W m−2 were measured for the individual components for hourly averages and between 2 and 12 W m−2 for daily averages. The authors then performed a field calibration, comparing each individual sensor to the reference instrument for one particular day. With the individual field calibration the uncertainty of hourly averages was reduced significantly for all components of the ventilated and heated instrument. For the unventilated CNR1 uncertainties could not be reduced significantly for all sensors. The total net radiation uncertainty of both CNR1 is rather large with up to 26% on daily averages (∼10 W m−2) for the original sensitivity coefficients and without field calibration. Only with the field calibration and for the ventilated and heated CNR1 net radiometer is an uncertainty of 10% of the daily totals of total net radiation reached, as claimed by the manufacturer.

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Atsumu Ohmura
,
Ellsworth G. Dutton
,
Bruce Forgan
,
Claus Fröhlich
,
Hans Gilgen
,
Herman Hegner
,
Alain Heimo
,
Gert König-Langlo
,
Bruce McArthur
,
Guido Müller
,
Rolf Philipona
,
Rachel Pinker
,
Charlie H. Whitlock
,
Klaus Dehne
, and
Martin Wild

To support climate research, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) initiated a new radiometric network, the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN). The network aims at providing validation material for satellite radiometry and climate models. It further aims at detecting long-term variations in irradiances at the earth's surface, which are believed to play an important role in climate change. The network and its instrumentation are designed 1) to cover major climate zones, 2) to provide the accuracy required to meet the objectives, and 3) to ensure homogenized standards for a long period in the future. The limits of the accuracy are defined to reach these goals. The suitable instruments and instrumentations have been determined and the methods for observations and data management have been agreed on at all stations. Measurements of irradiances are at 1 Hz, and the 1-min statistics (mean, standard deviation, and extreme values) with quality flags are stored at a centralized data archive at the WCRP's World Radiation Monitoring Center (WRMC) in Zurich, Switzerland. The data are quality controlled both at stations and at the WRMC. The original 1-min irradiance statistics will be stored at the WRMC for 10 years, while hourly mean values will be transferred to the World Radiation Data Center in St. Petersburg, Russia. The BSRN, consisting of 15 stations, covers the earth's surface from 80°N to 90°S, and will soon be joined by seven more stations. The data are available to scientific communities in various ways depending on the communication environment of the users. The present article discusses the scientific base, organizational and technical aspects of the network, and data retrieval methods; shows various application possibilities; and presents the future tasks to be accomplished.

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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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