Exploitation of Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget data using simulations from a numerical weather prediction model: Methodology and data validation
Allan, R.P., Slingo, A., Milton, S.F. and Culverwell, I. (2005) Exploitation of Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget data using simulations from a numerical weather prediction model: Methodology and data validation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110 (D14). D14111. ISSN 0148-0227
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2004JD005698
We describe a new methodology for comparing satellite radiation budget data with a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model. This is applied to data from the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) instrument on Meteosat-8. The methodology brings together, in near-real time, GERB broadband shortwave and longwave fluxes with simulations based on analyses produced by the Met Office global NWP model. Results for the period May 2003 to February 2005 illustrate the progressive improvements in the data products as various initial problems were resolved. In most areas the comparisons reveal systematic errors in the model's representation of surface properties and clouds, which are discussed elsewhere. However, for clear-sky regions over the oceans the model simulations are believed to be sufficiently accurate to allow the quality of the GERB fluxes themselves to be assessed and any changes in time of the performance of the instrument to be identified. Using model and radiosonde profiles of temperature and humidity as input to a single-column version of the model's radiation code, we conduct sensitivity experiments which provide estimates of the expected model errors over the ocean of about ±5–10 W m−2 in clear-sky outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and ±0.01 in clear-sky albedo. For the more recent data the differences between the observed and modeled OLR and albedo are well within these error estimates. The close agreement between the observed and modeled values, particularly for the most recent period, illustrates the value of the methodology. It also contributes to the validation of the GERB products and increases confidence in the quality of the data, prior to their release.