Broken-cloud enhancement of solar radiation absorption

Citation:
Byrne, RN, Somerville RCK, Subasilar B.  1996.  Broken-cloud enhancement of solar radiation absorption. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 53:878-886.

Date Published:

Mar

Abstract:

Observations cited by Ramanathan et al. and Cess et al. indicate systematic errors in the solar radiation parameterizations of the current atmospheric general circulation models. Cloudy scenes have an observational excess (or calculational deficit) of atmospheric absorption. Pilewskie and Valero have also reported anomalously large absorption. A simple model is presented here to show how fields of broken clouds cause average photon pathlengths to be greater than those predicted by homogeneous radiative transfer calculations of cloud-atmosphere ensemble with similar albedos, especially under and within the cloud layer. This one-sided bias is a contribution to the anomalous absorption. The model is illustrated quantitatively with a numerical stochastic radiative transfer calculation. More than one-half the anomaly is explained for the parameters used in the numerical example.

Notes:

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Website

DOI:

10.1175/1520-0469(1996)053<0878:bceosr>2.0.co;2