Impact of different definitions of clear-sky flux on the determination of longwave cloud radiative forcing: NICAM simulation results
Abstract. Using one month of the cloud-resolving Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Atmospheric Model (NICAM) simulations, we examined the impact of different definitions of clear-sky flux on the determination of longwave cloud radiative forcing (CRF). Because the satellite-like cloud-free composite preferentially samples drier conditions relative to the all-sky mean state, the conventional clear-sky flux calculation using the all-sky mean state in the model may represent a more humid atmospheric state in comparison to the cloud-free state. The drier bias is evident for the cloud-free composite in the NICAM simulations, causing an overestimation of the longwave CRF by about 10% compared to the NICAM simulated longwave CRF. Overall, water vapor contributions of up to 10% of the total longwave CRF should be taken account for making model-generated cloud forcing comparable to the satellite measurements.