U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Reducing Discrepancies Between Satellite/Surface and Model/Measurement Parameters
Published: April 12, 2010
Posted: April 23, 2010

It has long been difficult to compare cloud and surface radiation parameters derived from satellite and surface measurements due to differences such as fields of view and spatial coverage. Comparisons of models and measurements are also challenged by similar spatial and temporal resolution differences. A new approach, the Meteorological Similarity Comparison Method, for comparing satellite/surface and model/measurement parameters has now been developed. This approach only compares parameters taken under similar conditions, e.g., only comparing radiation values taken at times when there were matching cloud properties. In this way, much of the spatial and temporal resolution and other mismatches affecting previous comparisons are eliminated. This approach is also providing a better understanding of the underlying causes of satellite and model disagreements. This new approach will make better use of the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) data and will accelerate progress to improve satellite and model development efforts.

Reference: Zhang, Y., C. N. Long, W. B. Rossow, and E. G. Dutton. 2010. "Exploiting Diurnal Variations to Evaluate the ISCCP-FD Flux Calculations and Radiative-Flux-Analysis-Processed Surface Observations from BSRN, ARM, and SURFRAD," Journal of Geophysical Research 115, D15105. DOI: 10.1029/2009JD012743. (Reference link)

Contact: Kiran Alapaty, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3175
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


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