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Title: Quantifying Diurnal Cloud Radiative Effects by Cloud Type in the Tropical Western Pacific

Cloud radiative effects are examined using long-term datasets collected at the three Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facilities in the tropical western Pacific. We quantify the surface radiation budget, cloud populations, and cloud radiative effects by partitioning the data by cloud type, time of day, and as a function of large scale modes of variability such as El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase and wet/dry seasons at Darwin. The novel facet of our analysis is that we break aggregate cloud radiative effects down by cloud type across the diurnal cycle. The Nauru cloud populations and subsequently the surface radiation budget are strongly impacted by ENSO variability whereas the cloud populations over Manus only shift slightly in response to changes in ENSO phase. The Darwin site exhibits large seasonal monsoon related variations. We show that while deeper convective clouds have a strong conditional influence on the radiation reaching the surface, their limited frequency reduces their aggregate radiative impact. The largest source of shortwave cloud radiative effects at all three sites comes from low clouds. We use the observations to demonstrate that potential model biases in the amplitude of the diurnal cycle and mean cloud frequency wouldmore » lead to larger errors in the surface energy budget compared to biases in the timing of the diurnal cycle of cloud frequency. Our results provide solid benchmarks to evaluate model simulations of cloud radiative effects in the tropics.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 54(6):1297-1312
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Cloud radiative; diurnal cycle; Darwin