Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 13139-13163, 2006
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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.
Radiation budget estimates over Africa and surrounding oceans: inter-annual comparisons
A. Ben Rehouma, M. Viollier, and M. Desbois
Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France

Abstract. Three independent datasets of Radiation Budget at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) spanning two decades are compared: the Scanner Narrow Field of View data (from ERBE, ScaRaB, and CERES instruments, 1985–2005), the ERBS Nonscanner Wide Field of View data (1985–1998) and the simulated broadband fluxes from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP-FD, 1983–2004). The analysis concerns the shortwave (SW) reflected flux, the longwave (LW) emitted flux and the net flux at the Top Of the Atmosphere (TOA) over Africa and the surrounding oceans (45° S–45° N/60° W–60° E), a region particularly impacted by climate variability. For each month, local anomalies are computed with reference to the average over this large region, and their differences between the 2002–2005 and 1985–1989 periods are analysed. These anomalies are relative values and are mostly independent on the absolute observed trends (about 2.5 Wm−2 per decade) which may be affected by possible calibration drifts. Large inter-annual variations are observed locally. Over a part of the South East Atlantic (35°–10° S/10° W–10° E), including the marine low cloud area off Angola, there is a decrease of the yearly means of net flux estimated to 2.2, 3 and 6 Wm−2 respectively for the Scanner, Nonscanner and ISCPP-FD data. Over a narrow strip of the Sahel Zone, the net flux increases by about 5 Wm−2.

Citation: Ben Rehouma, A., Viollier, M., and Desbois, M.: Radiation budget estimates over Africa and surrounding oceans: inter-annual comparisons, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 13139-13163, doi:10.5194/acpd-6-13139-2006, 2006.
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