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Analysis of the evolution of surface radiative fluxes in IPCC AR4 simulations using BSRN and GEBA observations

PI: Martin Wild
Institution: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Additional Investigators: Beate G. Liepert
Substantial uncertainties still exists regarding the distribution of radiation at the earth surface, and its representation in General Circulation Models. To reduce these uncertainties, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology established two comprehensive datasets of the worldwide measured surface radiative fluxes, the Global Energy Balance Archive (GEBA, Gilgen et al. 1998), and the database of the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN, Ohmura et al. 1999). These datasets have been widely used in the past for the assessments of surface radiation fields in climate models. In this project we intend to use these observational datasets for the evaluation of the new coupled model simulations carried out for the IPC 4th assessment report. Expertise for this work has inter alia been gained in the AMIPII diagnostic project No, 32 surface and atmospheric radiation budgets in AMIP II GCMs. In addition to the assessment of the model performances under present day conditions, we intend to analyze the future evolution of the surface radiative fluxes. A particular focus will be on the longwave downward radiation, which we consider as a key quantity amongst the surface energy balance components under changing climates (Wild and Ohmura, GEWEX news, 14 (4), 2004). The longterm monitoring of the longwave downward radiation is also a major aim of the BSRN programme. Finally we are interested in the evolution of the downward solar radiation at the surface, since we have been heavily involved in the analysis of decadal changes of this quantitiy, related to the issue of solar dimming versus solar brightening.
  • Wild, M., 2005: Solar radiation budgets in atmospheric model intercomparisons from a surface perspective. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L07704, doi:10.1029/2005GL022421. Abstract. Full Article. Edit.
  • Wild, M., 2007: Shortwave and longwave surface radiation budgets in GCMs: a review based on the IPCC-AR4/CMIP3 models. Tellus. Submitted. Abstract. Edit.
  • Wild, M., Long, C.N., and Ohmura, A., 2006: Evaluation of clear-sky solar fluxes in GCMs participating in AMIP and IPCC-AR4 from a surface perspective. J. Geophys. Res., 111, D01104, doi:10.1029/2005JD006118. Abstract. Full Article. Edit.

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