Cloud Radiative Effect to Downward Longwave Radiation in the Polar Regions

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Kyohei Yamada and Tadahiro Hayasaka, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Downward longwave radiation is important factor to affect climate change. In polar regions, estimation of the radiative effect of cloud on the downward longwave radiation has large uncertainty. Relatively large cloud effect to the radiation occurs there due to low temperature, small amount of water vapor, and strong inversion layer. The cloud effect is, however, not evaluated sufficiently because the long term polar night and high surface albedo make satellite retrieval difficult. The intent of the present study is to quantify cloud radiative effect for downward longwave radiation in the polar regions by in-situ observation and radiative transfer calculation.

The observation sites in this study are Ny-Ålesund (NYA), Syowa (SYO), and South Pole (SPO). These stations belong to the Baseline Surface Radiation Network. The period of data analysis is from 2003 to 2012. The effect of cloud on the downward longwave radiation is evaluated by subtraction of calculated downward longwave radiation under clear-sky condition from observed value under all-sky condition. Radiative transfer model was used for the evaluation of clear sky radiation with vertical temperature and humidity profile obtained by radiosonde observations. Calculated result shows good correlation with observation under clear-sky condition. The RMSE is +0.83±5.0.

The cloud effect varied from −10 - +110 W/m2 (−10 - +40 %). Cloud effect increased with increasing of cloud fraction and decreasing of cloud base height and precipitable water. In SYO negative effects were sometimes obtained. The negative cloud effect emerged under dry and temperature inversion condition lower than 2 km. One of reasons of negative effect is considered to be existence of cloud at temperature inversion altitude. When the cloud effect is smaller than −5 W/m2 (standard deviation between calculation and observation), 50 % of them have a condition with cloud base height estimated by micro pulse lidar lower than 2 km.