Changes in Surface Radiation Flux Associated with Cloud Variability over Land during the Past 40+ Years

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 5:12 PM
Joel R Norris, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States
Clouds have a large impact on the surface energy budget over land, but it has been difficult to accurately quantify variability in cloud radiative effect at multidecadal time scales. One reason for this is that the longest satellite cloud records are inhomogeneous. Another reason is that surface visual records, available for a longer time period than satellite data, do not provide quantitative radiative information. The present study describes empirical methods for removing artifacts from satellite-derived surface radiation flux data and for quantifying the surface radiative impact of variability in visually-observed cloud cover. Changes in surface radiation flux associated with cloud variability during the past 40+ years are examined for multiple land regions.