Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 46, Issue 1–2, pp 29–40 | Cite as

The impact of geophysical parameters on longwave radiation budget at the top and base of the atmosphere

  • Man Li C. Wu
  • Lihsiung Aron Chang
  • Wm. Smith


The effect of clouds on longwave radiation budget at the top and base of the atmosphere is studied by using the HIRS2/MSU-retrieved temperature and humidity fields, and cloud fields and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project-produced fields. Detailed studies are carried out at four selected sites: one at Equatorial Eastern Pacific (ITCZ) area, one at Libyan Desert (Libya), one at Ottawa, Montreal (Ottawa), and one at central Europe (Europe). The monthly mean differences in outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) (the ISCCP-based OLR minus the HIRS2-based OLR), ranging from −2.8 Wm−2 at ITCZ to −15.4 Wm−2 at Ottawa, are less than the monthly mean differences in surface downward flux, ranging from −2.7 Wm−2 at Libya to 40.6 Wm−2 at the ITCZ. The large differences in surface downward flux are mainly due to large differences in cloud amount and moisture in the low levels of the atmosphere.

Monthly mean OLR and surface downward flux can be derived either (1) from instantaneous temperature, humidity, and cloud fields over a month period or (2) from monthly mean temperature, humidity, and cloud fields. The monthly mean OLR and surface downward flux derived from the first approach is compared with the second. The differences in OLR are small, ranging from −0.05 Wm−2 to 6.2 Wm−2, and the differences in surface downward flux is also small, ranging from 0.4 Wm−2 to 6.4 Wm−2.


Radiation Atmosphere Climate Change Waste Water Europe 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Acronyms


Advanced Very High Resolution radiometer


Earth Radiation Budget


Earth Radiation Budget Experiment


First Global GARP Experiment


Global Atmospheric Research Program


General Circulation Model


Goddard Institute for Space Studies


Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres


Geostationary Meteorological Satellite


Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite


High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder/2


International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project




Microwave Sounding Unit


Narrow Field of View


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


National Environmental Satellite Data Information Service


TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barkstrom, B., Harrison, E., Smith, G., Green, R., Kibler, J., Cess, R., and the ERBE science, 1989 The earth radiation budget experiment (ERBE) archival and April 1985 results.Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,701, 1254–1262Google Scholar
  2. Chou, M. D., 1985: Surface radiation in the tropical Pacific.J. Climate Appl. Meteor.,24, 83–92.Google Scholar
  3. Darnell, W. L., Gupta, S, Staylor, W., 1983: Downward longwave radiation at the surface from satellite measurements.J. Climate Appl. Meteor.,22, 1956–1960.Google Scholar
  4. Frouin, R., Gautier, C., Mocrette, J. J., 1988: Downward longwave irradiance at the ocean surface from satellite data: methodology and in situ validation.J. Geophys. Res.,93, C1, 597–619.Google Scholar
  5. Gruber, A., Krueger A. F., 1984: The status of the NOAA outgoing longwave radiation data set.Bull. Amer., Meteor. Soc.,65, 958–962.Google Scholar
  6. Kyle, H. L., Groveman, B., Bolvin, D., Huced, R., 1988: An earth radiation budget atlas for the period form May 1979 to May 1980.Eos,69, 315.Google Scholar
  7. Schmetz, J., 1989: Towards a surface radiation climatology: Reteieval of downward irradiances from satellites.Atmospheric Research,23, 287–321.Google Scholar
  8. Schmetz, P., Schmetz, J., Raschke, E., 1986: Estimation of daytime downward longwave radiation at the surface from satellite and grid point data.Theor. Appl. Climatol.,37, 136–149.Google Scholar
  9. Schiffer, R. A., Rossow, W. B., 1983: The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) — The first project of the World Climate Research Program.Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,64, 779–784.Google Scholar
  10. WCRP-12, 1988: Concept of the global energy and water cycle experiment, Report of the JSC study group. Published by the World Meteorological Organization, WMO/TD, No. 215.Google Scholar
  11. WCRP-12, 1988: World ocean circulation experiment implementation plan, Vol. 2, Scientific background. Published by the World Meteorological Organization, WMO/TD, No. 243.Google Scholar
  12. WCP-92, 1984: Report of the TOGA workshop on sea surface temperature and net surface radiation. Published by the World Meteorological Organization.Google Scholar
  13. WCP-112, 1986: A preliminary cloudless standard atmosphere for radiation computation. Published by the World Meteorological Organization, WMO/TD, No. 24.Google Scholar
  14. WCP-136, 1987: Report of the joint scientific committee ad hoc working group on radiative flux measurements. Published by the World Meteorological Organization, WMO/TD, No. 76.Google Scholar
  15. Wu, M. L. C., 1990: Suggestions for the measurements and derivation of fluxes and flux divergences from a satellite.J. Geophys. Res.,95, C4, 5257–5272.Google Scholar
  16. Wu, M. L. C., Susskind, J., 1990: Outgoing longwave radiation computed by using products retrieved from HIRS2/MSU.J. Geophys. Res.,95, D6, 7579–7602.Google Scholar
  17. Wu, M. L. C., Cheng, C. P., 1989: Surface downward flux computed by using geophysical parameters derived from HIRS2/MSU sounding data.Theor. Appl. Climatol. 40, 37–51.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Man Li C. Wu
    • 1
  • Lihsiung Aron Chang
    • 2
  • Wm. Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for AtmospheresNASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  2. 2.Centel Federal Services StaffRockvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations