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William E. Shenk, Thomas H. Vonder Haar, and William L. Smith

Quantitative observational guidelines have been developed for the study and forecasting of mesoscale events and cyclone events; many of these guidelines have resulted from major meteorological field programs. Increasingly sophisticated satellite-borne instruments in low and geosynchronous orbits have provided valuable measurements of these events. The major deficiencies in the measurements taken from geosynchronous orbit today, relative to these guidelines, are 1) the lack of temperature profiles and moisture profiles below clouds, and the poor vertical resolution of these profiles; 2) the insufficient combination of spatial resolution and temporal resolution and spectral intervals available in generating images (imaging) and 3) the lack of accurate precipitation mapping. Considerably more-powerful instrumentation is possible on geosynchronous satellites that can substantially reduce these deficiencies. The capability of advanced geosynchronous observations and those expected with future instrumentation in low-orbit are evaluated with respect to tropical cyclone and severe local-storm observational guidelines. A high percentage of the guidelines are expected to be fulfilled with geosynchronous measurements: 1) using microwave instruments for imaging and for obtaining temperature profiles and moisture profiles, 2) very high spectral-resolution infrared profiling, 3) very high spatial-resolution and very high temporal-resolution imaging, and 4) ozone mapping.

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Thomas Loridan, C. S. B. Grimmond, Brian D. Offerle, Duick T. Young, Thomas E. L. Smith, Leena Järvi, and Fredrik Lindberg


Recent developments to the Local-scale Urban Meteorological Parameterization Scheme (LUMPS), a simple model able to simulate the urban energy balance, are presented. The major development is the coupling of LUMPS to the Net All-Wave Radiation Parameterization (NARP). Other enhancements include that the model now accounts for the changing availability of water at the surface, seasonal variations of active vegetation, and the anthropogenic heat flux, while maintaining the need for only commonly available meteorological observations and basic surface characteristics. The incoming component of the longwave radiation (L↓) in NARP is improved through a simple relation derived using cloud cover observations from a ceilometer collected in central London, England. The new L↓ formulation is evaluated with two independent multiyear datasets (Łódź, Poland, and Baltimore, Maryland) and compared with alternatives that include the original NARP and a simpler one using the National Climatic Data Center cloud observation database as input. The performance for the surface energy balance fluxes is assessed using a 2-yr dataset (Łódź). Results have an overall RMSE < 34 W m−2 for all surface energy balance fluxes over the 2-yr period when using L↓ as forcing, and RMSE < 43 W m−2 for all seasons in 2002 with all other options implemented to model L↓.

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Charles K. Rutledge, Gregory L. Schuster, Thomas P. Charlock, Frederick M. Denn, William L. Smith Jr., Bryan E. Fabbri, James J. Madigan Jr., and Robert J. Knapp

When radiometers on satellites point toward Earth with the goal of sensing an important variable quantitatively, rather than just creating a pleasing image, the task at hand is often not simple. The electromagnetic energy detected by the radiometers is a puzzle of various signals; it must be solved to quantify the specific physical variable. This task, called the retrieval or remote-sensing process, is important to most satellite-based observation programs. It would be ideal to test the algorithms for retrieval processes in a sealed laboratory, where all the relevant parameters could be easily measured. The size and complexity of the Earth make this impractical. NASA's Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) project has done the next-best thing by developing a long-term radiation observation site over the ocean. The relatively low and homogeneous surface albedo of the ocean make this type of site a simpler environment for observing and validating radiation parameters from satellite-based instruments. To characterize components of the planet's energy budget, CERES uses a variety of retrievals associated with several satellite-based instruments onboard NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS). A new surface observation project called the CERES Ocean Validation Experiment (COVE), operating on a rigid ocean platform, is supplying data to validate some of these instruments and retrieval products. This article describes the ocean platform and the types of observations being performed there, and highlights of some scientific problems being addressed.

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Sarah J. Doherty, Stephan Bojinski, Ann Henderson-Sellers, Kevin Noone, David Goodrich, Nathaniel L. Bindoff, John A. Church, Kathy A. Hibbard, Thomas R. Karl, Lucka Kajfez-Bogataj, Amanda H. Lynch, David E. Parker, I. Colin Prentice, Venkatachalam Ramaswamy, Roger W. Saunders, Mark Stafford Smith, Konrad Steffen, Thomas F. Stocker, Peter W. Thorne, Kevin E. Trenberth, Michel M. Verstraete, and Francis W. Zwiers

The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that global warming is “unequivocal” and that most of the observed increase since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, with discernible human influences on ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes, wind patterns, and other physical and biological indicators, impacting both socioeconomic and ecological systems. It is now clear that we are committed to some level of global climate change, and it is imperative that this be considered when planning future climate research and observational strategies. The Global Climate Observing System program (GCOS), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) therefore initiated a process to summarize the lessons learned through AR4 Working Groups I and II and to identify a set of high-priority modeling and observational needs. Two classes of recommendations emerged. First is the need to improve climate models, observational and climate monitoring systems, and our understanding of key processes. Second, the framework for climate research and observations must be extended to document impacts and to guide adaptation and mitigation efforts. Research and observational strategies specifically aimed at improving our ability to predict and understand impacts, adaptive capacity, and societal and ecosystem vulnerabilities will serve both purposes and are the subject of the specific recommendations made in this paper.

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J. K. Andersen, Liss M. Andreassen, Emily H. Baker, Thomas J. Ballinger, Logan T. Berner, Germar H. Bernhard, Uma S. Bhatt, Jarle W. Bjerke, Jason E. Box, L. Britt, R. Brown, David Burgess, John Cappelen, Hanne H. Christiansen, B. Decharme, C. Derksen, D. S. Drozdov, Howard E. Epstein, L. M. Farquharson, Sinead L. Farrell, Robert S. Fausto, Xavier Fettweis, Vitali E. Fioletov, Bruce C. Forbes, Gerald V. Frost, Sebastian Gerland, Scott J. Goetz, Jens-Uwe Grooß, Edward Hanna, Inger Hanssen-Bauer, Stefan Hendricks, Iolanda Ialongo, K. Isaksen, Bjørn Johnsen, L. Kaleschke, A. L. Kholodov, Seong-Joong Kim, Jack Kohler, Zachary Labe, Carol Ladd, Kaisa Lakkala, Mark J. Lara, Bryant Loomis, Bartłomiej Luks, K. Luojus, Matthew J. Macander, G. V. Malkova, Kenneth D. Mankoff, Gloria L. Manney, J. M. Marsh, Walt Meier, Twila A. Moon, Thomas Mote, L. Mudryk, F. J. Mueter, Rolf Müller, K. E. Nyland, Shad O’Neel, James E. Overland, Don Perovich, Gareth K. Phoenix, Martha K. Raynolds, C. H. Reijmer, Robert Ricker, Vladimir E. Romanovsky, E. A. G. Schuur, Martin Sharp, Nikolai I. Shiklomanov, C. J. P. P. Smeets, Sharon L. Smith, Dimitri A. Streletskiy, Marco Tedesco, Richard L. Thoman, J. T. Thorson, X. Tian-Kunze, Mary-Louise Timmermans, Hans Tømmervik, Mark Tschudi, Dirk van As, R. S. W. van de Wal, Donald A. Walker, John E. Walsh, Muyin Wang, Melinda Webster, Øyvind Winton, Gabriel J. Wolken, K. Wood, Bert Wouters, and S. Zador
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