Surface Radiation Budget
Project DescriptionScientific Objectives:
Surface radiation budget data have the potential for contributing
significantly to improved understanding of the four major components
of the climate system: the oceans, the land surface, the cryosphere,
and the atmosphere. Radiative fluxes into the ocean surface provide
an important boundary forcing for the ocean general circulation.
Furthermore, since the radiative fluxes into the ocean surface are
significantly modulated by boundary layer parameters (e.g., clouds,
atmospheric humidity, and temperature), SRB may be an important factor
in air-sea interactions. With respect to the land surface, the net
radiative balance governs the turbulent fluxes of latent and sensible
heat from the surface into the atmosphere. Surface radiative fluxes
are also needed for studies related to the energy and water balance of
plant canopies. For the cryosphere, the pack ice and its interaction
with surface temperature and solar radiation provides the so-called
ice-albedo feedback which is a vital component governing climate
trends on decadal to longer time scales. Finally, the knowledge of
SRB together with top-of-atmosphere Earth radiation budget data can
yield, for the first time, observational estimates of tropospheric
radiative heating and cloud radiative forcing.
The Surface Radiation Budget (SRB) data sets are derived from a
variety of data sources. The primary data source is the International
Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) C1 data product. Using
the ISCCP C1 parameters as input, SRB results are generated using two
different algorithms. The Pinker algorithm (developed jointly by
Drs. R.T. Pinker and I. Laszlo form the University of Maryland) is a
physical model which uses an iterative procedure based on
delta-Eddington radiative transfer calculations. The Staylor
algorithm (developed by Mr. W.F. Staylor from the NASA Langley
Research Center) is a parameterized physical model in which both cloud
and aerosol transmission characteristics have been separately tuned to
historical data at various locations around the globe. Earth
Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) data are also used as input to the
models, as well as for top-of-atmosphere (TOA) irradiance comparisons
with the Pinker Model output. The Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology, Zurich, provides ground-truth fluxes from the Global
Energy Budget Archive (GEBA). These data are used for validation of
the Pinker and Staylor calculated downward shortwave surface
irradiances. SRB uses the same equal area grid system as that used by
ISCCP for its C1 product. The equal-area grid contains 6596 cells
covering the globe; where a cell is approximately 280 km x 280 km at
The SRB data package consists of daily and monthly shortwave
parameters covering a forty-six month period from March 1985 through
December 1988. The principle parameters in the data sets are Pinker
and Staylor calculated irradiances for the surface and
top-of-atmosphere. The total SRB data package for each month consists
of six files. The first file is the ASCII header file, named
README.MMMYY. The second and third files are ASCII showing Fortran
listings of the Pinker and Staylor algorithms (PINKER.FOR and
STAYLOR.FOR, respectively). The fourth and fifth files are binary
data files in HDF format. The fourth file is the monthly binary file
and presents monthly average gridded values for 52 different items in
each cell (srb_monavgs_yymm). The fifth file is the daily binary file
and presents 24-hr daily average values for 10 key items in each cell
(srb_dayavgs_yymm). The sixth file (b_srb_monavgs_yymm.hdf) is a
graphics file which contains 19 global images in HDF format. The
intent is to allow the user to quickly browse the most important SRB
parameters without the requirement to read the entire data set.
Project Archive Contact: Langley DAAC User Services Office
Mail Stop 157D
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA 23681-0001
Phone: (757) 864-8656
FAX: (757) 864-8807
Email: INTERNET > email@example.com
WWW Home Page: http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/
Project Manager Contact: Dr. Charles H. Whitlock
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA 23681-0001 USA
Phone: (757) 827-4882
FAX: (757) 864-7996
Email: INTERNET > firstname.lastname@example.org
The Astronomical Almanac, Nautical Almanac Office, U. S. Naval
Observatory, Washington, D. C., 1985, 1980.
Briegleb, B. P., P. Minnis, V. Ramanathan and E. Harrison, 1986:
Comparison of regional clear-sky albedos inferred from satellite
observations and model calculations. J. Climate Appl. Meteor., 25,
Darnell. W. L., W. F. Staylor, S. K. Gupta, and F. M. Denn, 1988:
Estimation of surface insolation using Sun-synchronous satellite
data. J. Clim., 1, 820-835.
DiPasquale, R.C., and C.H. Whitlock, 1993: 'First WCRP Long-Term Satellite
Estimates of Surface Solar Flux for the Globe and Selected Regions',
Proceedings of the ERIM/JOANNEUM RESEARCH/CIESIN 25th International Symposium
on Remote Sensing and Global Environmental Change. Graz, Austria, April 4-8,
1993. Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Hoyt, D. V., 1978: A model for the calculation of solar global
insolation. Sol. Energy, 21, 27-35.
Kneizys, F., E. Shettle, W. Gallery, J. Chetwynd, L. Abreu, J.
Selby, R. Fenn and R. McClatchey, 1980: Atmospheric transmittance/
radiance: Computer code LOWTRAN5. Rep. AFGL-Tr-80-67, Air Force
Geophysics Laboratory, Hanscomb AFB, MA, 127 pp.
Lacis, A. A., and J. E. Hansen, 1978: A parameterization for the
absorption of solar radiation in the Earth's atmosphere. J. Atmos.
Sci, 31, 118-133.
Lacis, A. A. and J. E. Hansen, 1974: A parameterization for the
absorption of solar radiation in the earth's atmosphere. J. Atmos.
Sci., 31, 118-133.
Pinker, R. T. and I. Laszlo, 1992: Modeling surface solar
irradiance for satellite applications on a global scale. J. Appl.
Meteor., February issue.
Pinker, R. and J. Ewing, 1985: Modeling surface solar radiation:
Model formulation and validation. J. Climate Appl. Meteor., 24,
Schiffer, R. A. ,and W. B. Rossow, 1983: The International
Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP): The first project of
the World Climate Research Programme. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 64,
Smith, W. L., H. M. Woolf, C. M. Hayden, D. Q. Wark, and L. M.
McMillin, 1979: The Tiros-N operational vertical sounder. Bull.
Amer. Met. Soc., 60, 1177-1187.
Staylor, W. F., and A. C. Wilber, 1990: Global surface albedos
estimated from ERBE data. Proceedings of AMS Conf. on Atmospheric
Radiation, July 23-27, 1990, San Francisco, CA, pp 231-236.
Staylor, W. F., 1985: Reflection and emission models for clouds
derived from Nimbus 7 Earth radiation budget scanner measurements.
JGR, 90, 8075-8079.
Stephens, G. L., S. Ackerman and E. Smith, 1984: A shortwave
parameterization revised to improve cloud absorption. J.
Atmos. Sci., 41, 687-690.
Suttles, J.T., and G. Ohring, 1986: 'Surface Radiation Budget for Climatic
Applications'. NASA Reference Publication 1169, NASA.
WCP-55, 1983: World Climate Research report of the experts meeting
on aerosols and their climatic effects. Williamsburg, Virginia,
28-30 March 1983, A. Deepak and H. E. Gerber, Eds., 107 pp.
Whitlock, C.H., Charlock T.P., Staylor, W.F., Pinker, R.T., Laszlo, L.,
DiPasquale, R.C., and N.A. Ritchey, 1993: 'WCRP Surface Radiation Budget
Shortwave Data Product Description - Version 1.1'. NASA Technical Memorandum
107747, National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia.
Wiscombe, W. J., R. M. Welch and W. D. Hall, 1984: The effects of
very large drops on cloud absorption. Part I: Parcel models. J.
Atmos. Sci., 41, 1336-1355.
WCRP, 1983: Experts meeting on aerosols and their climate effects.
A. Deepak and H. E. Gerber editors, WCP-55, 107 pp.
WMO.TD-No. 266, Revised March 1991, 25 pp.
Yamamoto, G., 1962: Direct absorption of solar radiation by
atmospheric water vapor, carbon dioxide, and molecular oxygen.
J. Atmos. Sci., 19, 182-188.