A Comparison of Satellite and Emnpirical Formula Techniques for Estimating Insolation over the Oceans

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  • a California Space Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California
  • | b Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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Abstract

Surface insulation data collected during the Mixed Layer Dynamiccs Experiment are used to intercompare the satellite technique of Gautier et al. (1980) and five commonly referenced empirical formulas for estimating daily insulation over the oceans. The results demonstrate the superiority of the satellite technique, which exhibits a 0.97 correlation coefficient, a 12.0 W m M−2 error of estimate, and a −4.9 W m−2 bias error, and which is also able to account for water vapor, ozone, and dust amount variations in the atmosphere and monitor quasi-instantaneously vast extents of ocean. Among the empirical formulas, Mosby's (1936) yields the best predictions with a 0.84 correlation coefficient, a 19.1 W m−2 standard error of estimate, and a 3.4 W m−2 bias. Kimball'(1928) and Reed's (1977) formulas however, perform nearly as well. The largest biases are obtained with Berliand's (1960) and Laevastu' (1960) formulas, which overestimate insolation by 15.2 and 24.5 W m−2, respectively. It is suggested the empirical formulas, even though established from visual cloud cover observations, would provide useful insolation estimates if employed with satellite-derived cloud cover.

Abstract

Surface insulation data collected during the Mixed Layer Dynamiccs Experiment are used to intercompare the satellite technique of Gautier et al. (1980) and five commonly referenced empirical formulas for estimating daily insulation over the oceans. The results demonstrate the superiority of the satellite technique, which exhibits a 0.97 correlation coefficient, a 12.0 W m M−2 error of estimate, and a −4.9 W m−2 bias error, and which is also able to account for water vapor, ozone, and dust amount variations in the atmosphere and monitor quasi-instantaneously vast extents of ocean. Among the empirical formulas, Mosby's (1936) yields the best predictions with a 0.84 correlation coefficient, a 19.1 W m−2 standard error of estimate, and a 3.4 W m−2 bias. Kimball'(1928) and Reed's (1977) formulas however, perform nearly as well. The largest biases are obtained with Berliand's (1960) and Laevastu' (1960) formulas, which overestimate insolation by 15.2 and 24.5 W m−2, respectively. It is suggested the empirical formulas, even though established from visual cloud cover observations, would provide useful insolation estimates if employed with satellite-derived cloud cover.

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