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NOAA Surface Radiation and Energy Budget Networks for Improved Products and Applications

Authors: Diane Stanitski*, NOAA Global Monitoring Division, Boulder, John Augustine, NOAA Global Monitoring Division, Boulder, Kathleen Lantz, NOAA GMD / Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Gary Hodges, NOAA GMD / Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Christian Herrera, NOAA GMD / Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Laura Riihimaki, NOAA GMD / Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Environmental Science, Physical Geography
Keywords: SURFRAD, surface radiation, energy budget
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The SURFRAD Network is NOAA's longest continuously running surface radiation network. Earth’s surface radiative energy budget (SRB) is the energy driver of the earth-atmosphere-ocean system. Observations of all components of the SRB are made at seven climatologically representative stations across the continental U.S. Other ancillary measurements are made at these sites to support research, including meteorological state parameters, spectral solar (for aerosol optical depth, aerosol properties, spectral surface albedo, and NDVI), photosynthetically active radiation, and UVB radiation. New observations of cloud base and boundary layer height, and cloud optical depth have been added to improve understanding of factors that modulate shortwave and longwave radiation. Adding surface fluxes of sensible and latent heat, ground heat flux, and soil moisture to create a full Surface Energy Budget Network (SEBN) is required for better understanding of boundary layer processes.

During this presentation, current and proposed SURFRAD products will be described as well as their scientific utility for understanding changes in the climate system that relate to cloud and aerosol radiative effects, changes in surface temperature, extreme heat events, and drought. Long-term high quality measurements and supporting products from SURFRAD are widely used to evaluate satellite-based estimates of surface radiation; validate and improve hydrologic, climate, and weather forecast models; and monitor trends in parameters that affect Earth’s climate. Building a national SEBN will provide the foundation to improve reanalyses, NOAA satellite products, NOAA climate models, weather forecasts, and climate assessments, significantly aiding the atmospheric science research community.

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