Clouds in the Perturbed Climate System: Their Relationship by Jost Heintzenberg, Robert J. Charlson

By Jost Heintzenberg, Robert J. Charlson

Specialists ponder the various roles that clouds play within the the altering climate--one of the least understood and such a lot perplexing elements of atmospheric technological know-how.

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Additional resources for Clouds in the Perturbed Climate System: Their Relationship to Energy Balance, Atmospheric Dynamics, and Precipitation (Strüngmann Forum Reports)

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Furthermore, it is essential to construct an observation system with suf¿cient stability and longevity to measure long-term variations in cloudiness and the radiation budget with improved precision and accuracy. Our present observing system has unfortunately little prospect of enhancement at this time and, moreover, is in danger of future deterioration since there are no de¿nite commitments to replace several critical instruments when current satellite missions end. Introduction Clouds and Earth’s Radiation Budget Clouds greatly impact the Earth’s radiation budget (ERB) because they reÀect solar or shortwave (SW) radiation back to space and restrict the emission of thermal or longwave (LW) radiation to space.

The global energy balance archive. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 80:831–850. Gupta, S. , N. A. Ritchey, A. C. Wilber et al. 1999. A climatology of surface radiation budget derived from satellite data. J. Climate 12:2691–2710. Hahn, C. , and S. G. Warren. 1999. Extended edited synoptic cloud reports from ships and land stations over the globe, 1952–1996. Report NDP026C. Oak Ridge, TN: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Lab. Harries, J. , J. E. Russell, J. A. Hana¿n et al. 2005.

It is relatively straightforward to justify the continuity of missions to support numerical weather prediction, because of the requirements of operational agencies. However, no satellite agency has yet been able to commit to continuous funding of climate monitoring. Thus, there is a real danger of losing the continuous record of ERB measurements because of future funding constraints. The numbers presented above suggest that 34 J. R. Norris and A. Slingo the minimum requirement for monitoring changes in the ERB associated with global warming would be continuation of the coverage from the CERES or similar instruments at the current level.

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