Articles | Volume 16, issue 21
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 13791–13806, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-13791-2016
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 13791–13806, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-13791-2016

Research article 08 Nov 2016

Research article | 08 Nov 2016

The spectral signature of cloud spatial structure in shortwave irradiance

Shi Song et al.

Data sets

PATMOS-x GOES Level-2 products, CIMSS A. Heidinger, A. Walther, S. Wanzong, Y. Li, D. Botambekov, C. Molling, and M. Foster http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/clavrx/

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 https://ladsweb.nascom.nasa.gov/archive/MAS_eMAS/TC4/

Daytime Cloud Optical and Microphysical Properties (DCOMP) Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document, NOAA NESDIS STAR A. Walther, W. Straka, and A. K. Heidinger http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/goesr/docs_reports_ATBD.php

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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.
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