Articles | Volume 17, issue 9
Research article
11 May 2017
Research article |  | 11 May 2017

CLARA-A2: the second edition of the CM SAF cloud and radiation data record from 34 years of global AVHRR data

Karl-Göran Karlsson, Kati Anttila, Jörg Trentmann, Martin Stengel, Jan Fokke Meirink, Abhay Devasthale, Timo Hanschmann, Steffen Kothe, Emmihenna Jääskeläinen, Joseph Sedlar, Nikos Benas, Gerd-Jan van Zadelhoff, Cornelia Schlundt, Diana Stein, Stefan Finkensieper, Nina Håkansson, and Rainer Hollmann

Abstract. The second edition of the satellite-derived climate data record CLARA (The CM SAF Cloud, Albedo And Surface Radiation dataset from AVHRR data – second edition denoted as CLARA-A2) is described. The data record covers the 34-year period from 1982 until 2015 and consists of cloud, surface albedo and surface radiation budget products derived from the AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) sensor carried by polar-orbiting, operational meteorological satellites. The data record is produced by the EUMETSAT Climate Monitoring Satellite Application Facility (CM SAF) project as part of the operational ground segment. Its upgraded content and methodology improvements since edition 1 are described in detail, as are some major validation results. Some of the main improvements to the data record come from a major effort in cleaning and homogenizing the basic AVHRR level-1 radiance record and a systematic use of CALIPSO-CALIOP cloud information for development and validation purposes. Examples of applications studying decadal changes in Arctic summer surface albedo and cloud conditions are provided.

Short summary
The paper presents the second version of a global climate data record based on satellite measurements from polar orbiting weather satellites. It describes the global evolution of cloudiness, surface albedo and surface radiation during the time period 1982–2015. The main improvements of algorithms are described together with some validation results. In addition, some early analysis is presented of some particularly interesting climate features (Arctic albedo and cloudiness + global cloudiness).
Final-revised paper