Reducing Discrepancies Between Satellite/Surface and Model/Measurement Parameters


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.


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.