J8.1 Computing Atmospheric Heating Rates from Data: Can We Close the Radiation Budget? (Invited Presentation)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014: 10:30 AM
Essex North (Westin Copley Place)
Thomas P. Ackerman, JISAO/Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA; and L. M. Hinkelman

Dr. Tony Slingo was the driving force behind the RADAGAST campaign in Niamey Niger that deployed the ARM Mobile Facility (AMF) outside the USA for the very first time. The primary purpose of this deployment, as envisaged by Dr. Slingo was to combine measurements from the AMF with those from the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) broad-band Earth radiation budget instrument to provide the first well-sampled, direct estimates of the divergence of solar and thermal radiation across the atmosphere. He and others then expanded this to include the idea of computing atmospheric radiative heating rates using remotely-sensed atmospheric properties as inputs to the radiative transfer code. This activity, along with efforts already underway in the ARM program, spawned a series of studies of atmospheric heating rate profiles. In addition, the CERES team adopted this approach to compute surface radiation budgets from space. Here, we reexamine this body of work to assess the quality and uncertainty in these atmospheric heating rates. In addition, we investigate the questions of whether it is possible, and on what time scales, to use top of atmosphere and surface radiation measurements to close the radiative budget of the atmospheric column. The heating rate profiles appear to be reasonably robust, but the latter issue is far from settled.
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