Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 17743-17771, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
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Ship and satellite observations over the ocean for verification of the shortwave cloud radiative effect in climate models
T. Hanschmann1, H. Deneke1, R. Roebeling2, and A. Macke1
1Leibniz-Institute for Tropospheric Research (IfT), Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
2European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), Darmstadt, Germany

Abstract. In this study the accuracy of the radiative transfer scheme of the ECHAM-5 climate model for reproducing the shortwave cloud radiative effect (SWCRE) at the sea surface has been investigated. A characterization of both the observed state of the atmosphere and the surface radiation budget from ship and satellite is used for this purpose. The ship observations yield cloud fraction, liquid water path from a microwave radiometer, cloud bottom height as well as temperature and humidity profiles from radiosonde ascents. Level-2 products of the Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CM-SAF) from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) have been used to characterize clouds. Within a closure study six different experiments have been defined to find the optimal set of measurements to calculate downward shortwave radiation (DSR) and the SWCRE from the model, and their results have been evaluated under seven different synoptic situations. Four of these experiments are defined to investigate the advantage of including the satellite-based cloud droplet effective radius as additional cloud property. The modeled SWCRE based on satellite retrieved cloud properties has a comparable accuracy to the modeled SWCRE based on ship data. For several cases, an improvement through introducing the satellite-based estimate of effective radius as additional information to the ship based data was found. Due to their different measuring characteristics, however, each dataset shows best results for different atmospheric conditions.

Citation: Hanschmann, T., Deneke, H., Roebeling, R., and Macke, A.: Ship and satellite observations over the ocean for verification of the shortwave cloud radiative effect in climate models, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 17743-17771, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-17743-2012, 2012.
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