Monday, 7 July 2014
For the past 14 years, the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy Systems (CERES) project has been collecting radiometric measurements taken by the Terra and Aqua spacecrafts to derive climate quality TOA and surface radiative fluxes. Providing such high quality results, however, requires algorithmic and data input consistency that delays release of the CERES data by six months or more beyond data acquisition. For most climate studies such delays are of little consequence, especially considering the high quality of the released data products. There are, however, a significant number of near real-time uses for the CERES data where the requirement for climate-quality results can be relaxed. The Fast Longwave and SHortwave Radiative Flux (FLASHFlux) effort was, therefore, developed to provide CERES-like results to the data analysis community within one week of the satellite measurements by exchanging some degree of accuracy for speed. Over the course of this effort, FLASHFlux has demonstrated the abilities to achieve the one-week processing objective and to provide remarkably good agreement with the CERES data for both the instantaneous single scanner footprint (SSF) fluxes and the time and space averaged (TISA) fluxes. Inter-comparing FLASHFlux and CERES results provide more than just an overview of the flux uncertainty in the FLASHFlux products; they also demonstrate the utility of the FLASHFlux data products to contribute to satellite programs, such as CloudSat and CALIPSO, as well as to experimental and operational field programs, ocean and land assimilations, and agricultural and energy applications. Recent improvements to the FLASHFlux process along with the ensuing results will also be discussed.
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