Inconsistencies between satellite estimates of longwave cloud forcing and dynamical fields from reanalyses
Allan, R.P. and Ringer, M.A. (2003) Inconsistencies between satellite estimates of longwave cloud forcing and dynamical fields from reanalyses. Geophysical Research Letters, 30 (9). 1491. ISSN 0094-8276
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2003GL017019
The greenhouse effect of cloud may be quantified as the difference between outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and its clear-sky component (OLRc). Clear-sky measurements from satellite preferentially sample drier, more stable conditions relative to the monthly-mean state. The resulting observational bias is evident when OLRc is stratified by vertical motion; differences to climate model OLRc of 15 Wm−2 occur over warm regions of strong ascent. Using data from the ECMWF 40-year reanalysis, an estimate of cloud longwave radiative effect is made which is directly comparable with standard climate model diagnostics. The impact of this methodology on the cancellation of cloud longwave and shortwave radiative forcing in the tropics is estimated.