Articles | Volume 16, issue 21
Research article
08 Nov 2016
Research article |  | 08 Nov 2016

The spectral signature of cloud spatial structure in shortwave irradiance

Shi Song, K. Sebastian Schmidt, Peter Pilewskie, Michael D. King, Andrew K. Heidinger, Andi Walther, Hironobu Iwabuchi, Gala Wind, and Odele M. Coddington

Data sets

PATMOS-x GOES Level-2 products, CIMSS A. Heidinger, A. Walther, S. Wanzong, Y. Li, D. Botambekov, C. Molling, and M. Foster

MODIS Airborne Simulator L2 cloud product (MAS_PGE06), NASA Level-1 and Atmosphere Archive & Distribution System (LAADS) M. D. King, S. Platnick, G. T. Arnold, and G. Wind

Daytime Cloud Optical and Microphysical Properties (DCOMP) Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document, NOAA NESDIS STAR A. Walther, W. Straka, and A. K. Heidinger

Short summary
The radiative effects of spatially complex cloud fields are notoriously difficult to estimate and are afflicted with errors up to ±50 % of the incident solar radiation. We find that horizontal photon transport, the leading cause for these three-dimensional effects, manifests itself through a spectral fingerprint – a new observable that holds promise for reducing the errors associated with spatial complexity by moving the problem to the spectral dimension.
Final-revised paper