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Top-of-Atmosphere Direct Radiative Effect of Aerosols from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System Satellite Instrument (CERES)Nine months of CERES/TRMM broadband fluxes combined with VIRS high-resolution imager measurements are used to estimate the daily average direct radiative effect of aerosols for clear-sky conditions over the tropical oceans. On average, aerosols have a cooling effect over the tropics of 4.6 +/- 1 W/sq m. The magnitude is approx.2 W/sq m smaller over the southern tropical oceans than it is over northern tropical oceans. The direct effect derived from CERES is highly correlated with coincident aerosol optical depth retrievals inferred from 0.63 microns VIRS radiances (correlation coefficient of 0.96). The slope of the regression line is approx. -32 W/sq m/t over the equatorial Pacific Ocean, but changes both regionally and seasonally, depending on the aerosol characteristics. Near sources of biomass burning and desert dust, the aerosol direct effect reaches -25 W sq m to -30 W/sq m. The direct effect from CERES also shows a dependence on wind speed. The reason for this dependence is unclear-it may be due to increased aerosol (e.g. sea-salt or aerosol transport) or increased surface reflection (e.g. due to whitecaps). The uncertainty in the tropical average direct effect from CERES is approx. 1 W/sq m (approx. 20%) due mainly to cloud contamination, the radiance-to-flux conversion, and instrument calibration. By comparison, uncertainties in the direct effect from the ERBE and CERES "ERBE-Like" products are a factor of 3 to 5 larger.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Loeb, N. G.
Kato, S.
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: J. Climate
Volume: 15
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.