Observing Earth's energy flows involves a range of time and space scales and encompasses both radiative and non-radiative energy exchanges between the sun, atmosphere, cryosphere, land and the entire depth of the ocean. The central goal of the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) is to produce a long-term climate data record of Earth's radiation budget at the top-of-atmosphere (TOA), within the atmosphere and at the surface, with consistent cloud and aerosol properties at climate accuracy. The CERES instrument is a 3-channel scanning radiometer designed to measure Earth's reflected solar and emitted thermal radiation at the top of the atmosphere. CERES instruments are currently flying on Terra, Aqua and Suomi NPP satellites. CERES data are merged with imager (MODIS on Terra and Aqua; VIIRS on NPP) and geostationary satellite data along with meteorological assimilation data to provide a diurnally complete characterization of clouds and radiation throughout the atmospheric column for a range of time and space scales.
This presentation summarizes some of the scientific achievements of CERES over the past decade and discusses the importance of continuing the CERES record on Suomi NPP and beyond. We discuss CERES data products used in climate studies and also highlight a growing demand for CERES data products to support the Applied Sciences community.