TOA flux assessment using CERES

The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project produces a long-term global climate data record (CDR) that can be used to detect decadal changes in the Earth’s radiation budget (ERB) from the surface to the top-of-atmosphere (TOA). The CERES Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) product includes monthly mean shortwave (SW), longwave (LW), and net TOA all-sky and clear-sky radiative fluxes over 1 degree latitude by 1 degree longitude regions. The EBAF SW and LW fluxes are adjusted within their uncertainties to be consistent with the heat storage in the Earth-atmosphere system. EBAF also provides a gap-free monthly mean clear-sky flux map by inferring clear-sky fluxes from both CERES and MODIS measurement. Additionally, EBAF product also includes MODIS-based monthly mean cloud properties (cloud amount, optical depth, effective pressure, and daytime optical depth).

Comparisons between AeroCom phase III experiments with CERES EBAF fluxes will focus on:

1) Clear-sky flux comparisons between model outputs and CERES EBAF. Clear-sky flux differences are closely linked to aerosol differences, land and snow/ice surface albedo differences. Thus the clear-sky flux comparisons can reveal deficiencies in aerosol simulations and the surface albedo. This evaluation also has a clear linkage to “Remote Sensing Evaluation”.

2) All-sky flux comparisons between model outputs and CERES EBAF. All-sky flux differences are mostly related to cloud property differences. SW and LW fluxes are sensitive to different cloud properties and their differences can provide insights in the cloud filed simulated by the models.

3) Decadal trends comparison between model output and CERES EBAF at different spatial scales. These flux trends can be linked with trends of aerosol optical depth, sea ice, and cloud properties to better constrain model simulation.

Results published
July 2019
Wenying Su,

Column with diagnostic requests in excel sheet: AP3-CTRL