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

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Cited articles

Ackerman, S. A. and Cox, S. K.: Aircraft observations of shortwave fractional absorptance of non-homogeneous clouds, J. Appl. Meteorol., 20, 1510–1515, 1981.
Arking, A.: The influence of clouds and water vapor on atmospheric absorption, Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 2729–2732,, 1999.
Barker, H. W., Jerg, M. P., Wehr, T., and Kato, S.: Donovan D. P., and Hogan R. J.: A 3-D cloud-construction algorithm for the EarthCARE satellite mission, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 1042–1058, 2011.
Barker, H. W., Kato, S., and Wehr, T.: Computation of solar radiative fluxes by 1-D and 3-D methods using cloudy atmospheres inferred from A-train satellite data, Surv. Geophys., 33, 657–676, 2012.
Baum, B. A., Yang, P., Heymsfield, A. J., Schmitt, C., Xie, Y., Bansemer, A., Hu, Y. X., and Zhang, Z.: Improvements to shortwave bulk scattering and absorption models for the remote sensing of ice clouds, J. Appl. Meteorol. Climatol., 50, 1037–1056, 2011.
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