Surface radiation budget data have the potential for contributing
significantly to improved understanding of the four major components of the
climate system: the oceans, the land surface, the cryosphere, and the
atmosphere. Radiative fluxes into the ocean surface provide an important
boundary forcing for the ocean general circulation. Furthermore, since the
radiative fluxes into the ocean surface are significantly modulated by boundary
layer parameters (e.g., clouds, atmospheric humidity, and temperature), SRB may
be an important factor in air-sea interactions. With respect to the land
surface, the net radiative balance governs the turbulent fluxes of latent and
sensible heat from the surface into the atmosphere. Surface radiative fluxes
are also needed for studies related to the energy and water balance of plant
canopies. For the cryosphere, the pack ice and its interaction with surface
temperature and solar radiation provides the so-called ice-albedo feedback
which is a vital component governing climate trends on decadal to longer time
scales. Finally, the knowledge of SRB together with top-of-atmosphere Earth
radiation budget data can yield, for the first time, observational estimates of
tropospheric radiative heating and cloud radiative forcing.
The mission objectives of SRB are to use the ISCCP C1 data
supplemented with ERBE data as input to the SRB satellite algorithms to
estimate various top-of-atmosphere and surface parameters. Where GEBA data are
available and determined by Satellite Data Analysis Center (SDAC) to be
accurate, it is compared with both algorithm's calculation of downward
shortwave irradiance at the surface.
Detailed Project/Campaign Description:
The Surface Radiation Budget (SRB) data sets are derived from
a variety of data sources. The primary data source is the International
Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) C1 data product. Using the ISCCP
C1 parameters as input, SRB results are generated using two different algorithms.
The Pinker algorithm (developed jointly by Drs. R.T. Pinker and I. Laszlo
form the University of Maryland) is a physical model which uses an iterative
procedure based on delta-Eddington radiative transfer calculations. The
Staylor algorithm (developed by Mr. W.F. Staylor from the NASA Langley Research
Center) is a parameterized physical model in which both cloud and aerosol
transmission characteristics have been separately tuned to historical data
at various locations around the globe. Earth Radiation Budget Experiment
(ERBE) data are also used as input to the models, as well as for top-of-atmosphere
(TOA) irradiance comparisons with the Pinker Model output. The Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology, Zurich, provides ground-truth fluxes from the Global
Energy Budget Archive (GEBA). These data are used for validation of the
Pinker and Staylor calculated downward shortwave surface irradiances. SRB
uses the same equal area grid system as that used by ISCCP for its C1 product.
The equal-area grid contains 6596 cells covering the globe; where a cell
is approximately 280 km x 280 km at the equator.
Langley DAAC User and Data Services Office
NASA Langley Research Center
Mail Stop 157D
Hampton, Virginia 23681-2199
Telephone: (757) 864-8656
FAX: (757) 864-8807
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