92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Providing Fast Top-of-Atmosphere Radiative Fluxes with the CERES FLASHFlux Data Products
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Jennifer Colleen Mikovitz, SSAI, Hampton, VA; and D. P. Kratz, P. W. Stackhouse, P. K. Sawaengphokhai, and A. C. Wilber

The Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Fast Longwave And SHortwave Radiative Fluxes (FLASHFlux) project was implemented at the NASA Langley Research Center to address the needs of the science community for global near real-time surface and top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes. This has been accomplished by enhancing the speed of the Clouds and Earth Radiance Energy System (CERES) processing methods by using simplified calibration and averaging techniques along with the CERES fast radiation algorithms to produce fluxes within a week of real-time. The resulting products are not considered to be sufficiently accurate for long-term climate trend detection (i.e., “climate quality”); however, they satisfy the requirement needs for near real-time science data analysis and scientific applications.

The FLASHFlux project has developed software and protocols necessary for disseminating near real-time estimates of shortwave (solar) and longwave (terrestrial) flux products to satellite science teams, as well as to the renewable energy and agricultural industries.

The FLASHFlux data provide near real-time quantification of TOA and surface radiative fluxes. Timely analyses of the fluxes help to characterize the spatial and temporal variability on regional and global scales. Daily averaged products provide important insight into the understanding of the relationships between weather and climate processes. To data monthly averages of the TOA radiative flux products have been used to characterize the most recent full year variability as published in the BAMS annual special supplement entitled, “The State of the Climate”.

Here, we demonstrate the TOA temporal variability of FLASHFlux radiative fluxes and how they relate to the CERES climate quality fluxes. The comparison provides a measure of uncertainty of these data products. In doing so, we show also how the ability to have near real-time flux data adds value to analysis of short-term variability by evaluating flux data for most of 2011.

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