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Title: Retrievals of Cloud Fraction and Cloud Albedo from Surface-based Shortwave Radiation Measurements: A Comparison of 16 Year Measurements

Ground-based radiation measurements have been widely conducted to gain information on clouds and the surface radiation budget; here several different techniques for retrieving cloud fraction (Long2006, Min2008 and XL2013) and cloud albedo (Min2008, Liu2011 and XL2013) from ground-based shortwave broadband and spectral radiation measurements are examined, and sixteen years of retrievals collected at the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site are compared. The comparison shows overall good agreement between the retrievals of both cloud fraction and cloud albedo, with noted differences however. The Long2006 and Min2008 cloud fractions are greater on average than the XL2013 values. Compared to Min2008 and Liu2011, the XL2013 retrieval of cloud albedo tends to be greater for thin clouds but smaller for thick clouds, with the differences decreasing with increasing cloud fraction. Further analysis reveals that the approaches that retrieve cloud fraction and cloud albedo separately may suffer from mutual contamination of errors in retrieved cloud fraction and cloud albedo. Potential influences of cloud absorption, land-surface albedo, cloud structure, and measurement instruments are explored.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 119(14):8925-8940
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
cloud fraction; albedo; surface-based; shortwave radiation measurements