128 Regularities, Patterns and Direct Surface - Top-Of-Atmosphere Energetic Relationships in the CERES EBAF Global Mean Data - Observations, Model and Theory

Monday, 9 July 2018
Regency A/B/C (Hyatt Regency Vancouver)
Miklos Adam Zagoni, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary

Handout (236.9 kB)

Examining CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) synoptic (SYN1deg) and Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) data sets, robust internal patterns and energetic relationships can be recognized, separately for all-sky and clear-sky conditions. These regularities include direct surface – top-of-atmosphere (TOA) energetic interconnections and identities of certain flux elements with other radiative or non-radiative components of the global energy flow system. The revealed arithmetic structure is far too regular and well-organized to be a mere coincidence; on the contrary, the ratios and equations, together, describe a coherent and self-consistent energetic structure; the clear-sky flux ratio system is justified by independent high-resolution radiative transfer computations as well. — The found regularities include: (a) The total shortwave plus longwave radiative energy absorbed by the surface is twice the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) in the clear-sky case and twice the OLR plus one surface longwave cloud radiative effect in the all-sky; the latter equality is valid within 1 W/m2 in the Ed2.8 and within 2.6 W/m2 in the Ed4.0 version of the CERES EBAF products; the clear-sky equality is valid with a difference of EEI (Earth Energy Imbalance) = 0.59 W/m2 in the Ed2.8 product and with 8.2 W/m2 accumulated difference in Ed4.0 (the latter is a consequence of the 2.7 W/m2 increase in clear-sky OLR in the current version; note that the known satellite instrument calibration error is about 4.5 W/m2). (b) The clear-sky greenhouse effect is equal to the surface net (turbulent) fluxes; a relationship valid within 1 W/m2 in both the Ed2.8 and Ed4.0 editions. (c) There are small integer ratios between the internal flux values, separately for the clear-sky and all-sky fluxes. — A possible physical explanation refers to the simplest idealized greenhouse model comprising a planetary surface surrounded by a single-layer shortwave-transparent, longwave-opaque, non-turbulent “glass-shell” atmosphere; here the energy absorbed (and emitted) by the surface is exactly twice the OLR simply because of the geometry. Earth’s atmosphere is neither SW-transparent nor LW-opaque; but as the all-sky atmospheric window is only about 5.5% of the surface longwave emission, it seems possible to approximate Earth’s real energy flow system from this infrared-opaque limit. — Starting from this geometry, this presentation gives a deduction of the annual global mean surface and atmospheric energy flow system by introducing partial atmospheric shortwave absorption, partial longwave transparency and turbulence in the course of the deduction. The resulted energy flow distribution is actually identical to the observed one; all the flux values are within the one-sigma range of observation uncertainty; the inherited small-number integer ratio structure contains the unfolded surface-TOA relationships. — The underlying theoretical basis might be found in the radiative effect of clouds: if the system – for any physical reason like a minimum or maximum principle (such as least action or maximum entropy production – not detailed in this presentation) – tends to close the atmospheric window, it can be done so by the longwave effect of clouds. In that case, from a surface perspective, the energy being lost in space through the open atmospheric window is gained back by the greenhouse effect of clouds and the surface will see an effectively IR-opaque ceiling above itself. The resulted energy flow system is then awaited to be similar to the wave propagation in a cavity where the wave numbers are integer multiples of a unit flux — which, in turn, is thought to be close to the observed value of the greenhouse effect of clouds; hence we expect to observe an “LWCRE-modulated” energy flow system. — It should be emphasized that the validity of our disclosed quantitative flux relationships does not depend on the validity of this proposed possible theoretical interpretation.

Supplementary URL: http://globalenergybudget.com/

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