Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 8541-8560, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
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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.
A simple model for cloud radiative forcing
T. Corti and T. Peter
Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract. We present a simple model for the longwave and shortwave cloud radiative forcing based on the evaluation of extensive radiative transfer calculations. The simplicity of the model equations fosters the understanding on how clouds affect the Earth's energy balance. In comparison with results from a comprehensive radiative transfer model, the accuracy of our parameterization is typically better than 20%. We demonstrate the usefulness of our model using the example of tropical cirrus clouds. We conclude that possible applications for the model include the fast estimate of cloud radiative forcing, the evaluation of the sensitivity to changes in environmental conditions, and as a tool in education.

Citation: Corti, T. and Peter, T.: A simple model for cloud radiative forcing, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 8541-8560, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-8541-2009, 2009.
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