Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 18389-18418, 2010
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Solar radiation trend across China in recent decades: a revisit with quality-controlled data
W.-J. Tang1,2, K. Yang1, J. Qin1, C. C. K. Cheng3, and J. He1,2
1Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
2Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Abstract. Solar radiation is one of the most important factors affecting climate and environment, and its long-term variation is of much concern in climate change studies. In the light of the limited number of radiation stations with reliable long-term time series observations, this paper presents a new evaluation of the long-term variation of surface solar radiation over China by combining quality-controlled observed data and two radiation models. One is the ANN-based (Artificial Neutral Network) model and the other is a physical one. The two models produced radiation trends comparable to the observed ones at a few stations possessing reliable and continuous data. Then, the trend estimation is extended by the ANN-based model to all 96 radiation stations and furthermore extended by the physical model to all 716 China Meteorological Administration (CMA) routine stations. The new estimate trend is different from previous ones in two aspects. First, the magnitude of solar radiation over China decreased by about −0.19 W m−2 yr−1 between 1961 and 2000, which is greatly less in magnitude than trends estimated in previous studies (ranging over −0.41 to −0.52 W m−2 yr−1). Second, the "From Dimming to Brightening" transition in China during the late 1980s and the early 1990s was addressed in previous studies, but this study indicates the solar radiation reached a stable level since the 1990s and the transition is not noticeable. These differences are attributed to inappropriate data and approaches in previous studies.

Citation: Tang, W.-J., Yang, K., Qin, J., Cheng, C. C. K., and He, J.: Solar radiation trend across China in recent decades: a revisit with quality-controlled data, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 18389-18418, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-18389-2010, 2010.
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