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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1096
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1096
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Jan 2019

Research article | 29 Jan 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Trends in surface radiation and cloud radiative effect at four Swiss sites for the 1996–2015 period

Stephan Nyeki1, Stefan Wacker2, Christine Aebi1,3, Julian Gröbner1, Giovanni Martucci4, and Laurent Vuilleumier4 Stephan Nyeki et al.
  • 1Physikalisch‐Meteorologisches Observatorium/World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland
  • 2Deutscher Wetterdienst, Meteorologisches Observatorium Lindenberg/Richard-Aßmann-Observatorium, Lindenberg, Germany
  • 3Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research and Institute of Applied Physics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 4Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Payerne, Switzerland

Abstract. The trends of meteorological parameters and surface downward shortwave and longwave radiation (DSR, DLR) were analyzed at four stations (between 370 and 3580 m asl) in Switzerland for the 1996–2015 period. Ground temperature, specific humidity and atmospheric integrated water vapor (IWV) increased during all-sky and cloud-free conditions. All-sky DSR and DLR trends were in the ranges 0.6–4.3 W m−2/decade and 0.9–4.3 W m−2/decade, respectively, while corresponding cloud-free trends were −2.9–3.3 W m−2/decade and 2.9–5.4 W m−2/decade. The cloud radiative effect (CRE) was determined using radiative transfer calculations for cloud-free DSR and an empirical scheme for cloud-free DLR. CRE decreased in magnitude by 0.9–3.1 W m−2/decade which implies a reduction in cloud cover and/or a change towards a different cloud type over the four Swiss sites. Between 10 and 70 % of the increase in DLR is explained by factors other than ground temperature and IWV. Trends in aerosol optical depth at each station over the same period remained insignificant, and thus their contribution to the observed changes in surface radiative fluxes was negligible. A more detailed, long-term quantification of cloud changes is crucial and will be possible in the future as cloud cameras have been measuring at three of the four stations since 2013.

Stephan Nyeki et al.
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Short summary
The trends of meteorological parameters and surface downward shortwave and longwave radiation (DSR, DLR) were analyzed at four stations (between 370 and 3580 m asl) in Switzerland for the 1996–2015 period. Trends in DSR and DLR were positive during cloudy as well as clear conditions. The trend due to the influence of clouds decreased in magnitude which implies a reduction in cloud cover and/or a change towards a different cloud type over the four Swiss sites.
The trends of meteorological parameters and surface downward shortwave and longwave radiation...
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