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Simon Whitburn, Lieven Clarisse, Sophie Bauduin, Maya George, Daniel Hurtmans, Sarah Safieddine, Pierre François Coheur, and Cathy Clerbaux


Space-based measurements of the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) are essential for the study of Earth’s climate system. While the CERES instrument provides accurate measurements of this quantity, its measurements are not spectrally resolved. Here we present a high-resolution OLR product (sampled at 0.25 cm−1), derived from measurements of the IASI satellite sounder. The applied methodology relies on precalculated angular distribution models (ADMs). These are usually calculated for tens to hundreds of different scene types (characterized by surface and atmosphere parameters). To guarantee accurate results in the range 645–2300 cm−1 covered by IASI, we constructed ADMs for over 140 000 scenes. These were selected from one year of CAMS reanalysis data. A dissimilarity-based selection algorithm was applied to choose scenes as different from each other as possible, thereby maximizing the performance on real data, while keeping the number of scenes manageable. A comparison of the IASI OLR integrated over the 645–2300 cm−1 range was performed with the longwave broadband OLR products from CERES and the AIRS instrument. The latter are systematically higher due to the contribution of the far infrared to the total IR spectral range, but as expected exhibit generally high spatial correlations with the IASI OLR, except for some areas in the tropical region. We also compared the IASI OLR against the spectrally resolved OLR derived from AIRS. A good agreement was found above 1200 cm−1 while AIRS OLR appeared to be systematically higher in the atmospheric window region, likely related to differences in overpass time or to the use of a different cloud detection algorithm.

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