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Thuillier G.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Melo S.M.L.,University of Toronto | Melo S.M.L.,Canadian Space Agency | Lean J.,U.S. Navy | And 7 more authors.
Solar Physics | Year: 2014

Proper numerical simulation of the Earth's climate change requires reliable knowledge of solar irradiance and its variability on different time scales, as well as the wavelength dependence of this variability. As new measurements of the solar spectral irradiance have become available, so too have new reconstructions of historical solar irradiance variations, based on different approaches. However, these various solar spectral irradiance reconstructions have not yet been compared in detail to quantify differences in their absolute values, variability, and implications for climate and atmospheric studies. In this paper we quantitatively compare five different reconstructions of solar spectral irradiance changes during the past four centuries, in order to document and analyze their differences. The impact on atmosphere and climate studies is discussed in terms of the calculation of short wave solar heating rates. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Nyeki S.,PMOD WRC | Wehrli C.,PMOD WRC | Grobner J.,PMOD WRC | Kouremeti N.,PMOD WRC | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres | Year: 2015

A ground-based aerosol optical depth (AOD) climatology is presented for Cape Point (CPT) station, South Africa, for the 2008-2013 period. CPT is part of the Global Atmosphere Watch-Precision Filter Radiometer network which conducts long-term AOD measurements at remote background sites. AOD (λ=500nm) and Ångström exponent (368 to 862nm; α368-862) averages for the entire period were 0.059 and 0.68, displaying only a weak seasonality. Based on an established method for air mass classification using the in situ wind direction and 222Rn concentration, the following four air mass types were used to further investigate AOD: background marine, marine, mixed, and continental. AOD was similar for all types, but α368-862 was distinctly lower (0.43) for background marine and higher (1.07) for continental air masses, illustrating the presence of coarse mode and anthropogenic aerosols, respectively. Trajectory cluster analysis of 5day back trajectories confirmed/augmented this classification. AOD for background marine and marine air mass types were consistent with ship-based (Maritime Aerosol Network) and island (AErosol RObotic NETwork) measurements, suggesting that CPT is a suitable site to monitor pristine conditions in the South Atlantic and Southern Oceans when 222Rn concentrations are <100mBqm-3. © 2015 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Schmutz W.,PMOD WRC | Shapiro A.I.,PMOD WRC | Kretzschmar M.,University of Orléans | Zhukov A.N.,Moscow State University | And 2 more authors.
Solar Physics | Year: 2013

The Large Yield Radiometer (LYRA) is an XUV-EUV-MUV (soft X-ray to mid-ultraviolet) solar radiometer onboard the European Space Agency Project for On-Board Autonomy 2 (PROBA2) mission, which was launched in November 2009. LYRA acquires solar-irradiance measurements at a high cadence (nominally 20 Hz) in four broad spectral channels, from soft X-ray to MUV, which have been chosen for their relevance to solar physics, space weather, and aeronomy. We briefly review the design of the instrument, give an overview of the data products distributed through the instrument website, and describe how the data are calibrated. We also briefly present a summary of the main fields of research currently under investigation by the LYRA consortium. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Thuillier G.,French National Center for Scientific Research | DeLand M.,SSAI | Shapiro A.,PMOD WRC | Schmutz W.,PMOD WRC | Melo S.M.L.,Canadian Space Agency
Solar Physics | Year: 2012

We present a new method to reconstruct the solar spectrum irradiance in the Ly α - 400 nm region, and its variability, based on the Mg ii index and neutron-monitor measurements. Measurements of the solar spectral irradiance available in the literature have been made with different instruments at different times and different spectral ranges. However, climate studies require harmonised data sets. This new approach has the advantage of being independent of the absolute calibration and aging of the instruments. First, the Mg ii index is derived using solar spectra from Ly α (121 nm) to 410 nm measured from 1978 to 2010 by several space missions. The variability of the spectra with respect to a chosen reference spectrum as a function of time and wavelength is scaled to the derived Mg ii index. The set of coefficients expressing the spectral variability can be applied to the chosen reference spectrum to reconstruct the solar spectra within a given time frame or Mg ii index values. The accuracy of this method is estimated using two approaches: direct comparison with particular cases where solar spectra are available from independent measurements, and calculating the standard deviation between the measured spectra and their reconstruction. From direct comparisons with measurements we obtain an accuracy of about 1 to 2%, which degrades towards Ly α. In a further step, we extend our solar spectral-irradiance reconstruction back to the Maunder Minimum introducing the relationship between the Mg ii index and the neutron-monitor data. Consistent measurements of the Mg ii index are not available prior to 1978. However, we remark that over the last three solar cycles, the Mg ii index shows strong correlation with the modulation potential determined from the neutron-monitor data. Assuming that this correlation can be applied to the past, we reconstruct the Mg ii index from the modulation potential back to the Maunder Minimum, and obtain the corresponding solar spectral-irradiance reconstruction back to that period. As there is no direct measurement of the spectral irradiance for this period we discuss this methodology in light of the other proposed approaches available in the literature. The use of the cosmogenic-isotope data provides a major advantage: it provides information about solar activity over several thousands years. Using technology of today, we can calibrate the solar irradiance against activity and thus reconstruct it for the times when cosmogenic-isotope data are available. This calibration can be re-assessed at any time, if necessary. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Diemoz H.,ARPA Valle dAosta | Diemoz H.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Eleftheratos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Eleftheratos K.,Academy of Athens | And 4 more authors.
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques | Year: 2016

A MkIV Brewer spectrophotometer has been operating in Athens since 2004. Direct-sun measurements originally scheduled for nitrogen dioxide retrievals were reprocessed to provide aerosol optical depths (AODs) at a wavelength of about 440ĝ€nm. A novel retrieval algorithm was specifically developed and the resulting AODs were compared to those obtained from a collocated Cimel filter radiometer belonging to the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET). The series are perfectly correlated, with Pearson's correlation coefficients being as large as 0.996 and with 90ĝ€% of AOD deviations between the two instruments being within the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) traceability limits. In order to reach such a high agreement, several instrumental factors impacting the quality of the Brewer retrievals must be taken into account, including sensitivity to the internal temperature, and the state of the external optics and pointing accuracy must be carefully checked. Furthermore, the long-term radiometric stability of the Brewer was investigated and the performances of in situ Langley extrapolations as a way to track the absolute calibration of the Brewer were assessed. Other sources of error, such as slight shifts of the wavelength scale, are discussed and some recommendations to Brewer operators are drawn. Although MkIV Brewers are rarely employed to retrieve AODs in the visible range, they represent a key source of information about aerosol changes in the past three decades and a potential worldwide network for present and future coordinated AOD measurements. Moreover, a better understanding of the AOD retrieval at visible wavelengths will also contribute in improving similar techniques in the more challenging UV range. Author(s) 2016.

Zanchettin D.,University of Venice | Khodri M.,IRD IPSL Laboratoire dOceanographie et du Climat | Timmreck C.,Max Planck Institute for Meteorology | Toohey M.,Max Planck Institute for Meteorology | And 23 more authors.
Geoscientific Model Development | Year: 2016

The enhancement of the stratospheric aerosol layer by volcanic eruptions induces a complex set of responses causing global and regional climate effects on a broad range of timescales. Uncertainties exist regarding the climatic response to strong volcanic forcing identified in coupled climate simulations that contributed to the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). In order to better understand the sources of these model diversities, the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP) has defined a coordinated set of idealized volcanic perturbation experiments to be carried out in alignment with the CMIP6 protocol. VolMIP provides a common stratospheric aerosol data set for each experiment to minimize differences in the applied volcanic forcing. It defines a set of initial conditions to assess how internal climate variability contributes to determining the response. VolMIP will assess to what extent volcanically forced responses of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system are robustly simulated by state-of-the-art coupled climate models and identify the causes that limit robust simulated behavior, especially differences in the treatment of physical processes. This paper illustrates the design of the idealized volcanic perturbation experiments in the VolMIP protocol and describes the common aerosol forcing input data sets to be used. © Author(s) 2016.

Egorova T.,PMOD WRC | Rozanov E.,PMOD WRC | Rozanov E.,ETH Zurich | Grobner J.,PMOD WRC | And 2 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2013

Ozone depletion is caused by the anthropogenic increase of halogen-containing species in the atmosphere, which results in the enhancement of the concentration of reactive chlorine and bromine in the stratosphere. To reduce the influence of anthropogenic ozone-depleting substances (ODS), the Montreal Protocol was agreed by Governments in 1987, with several Amendments and Adjustments adopted later. In order to assess the benefits of the Montreal Protocol and its Amendments and Adjustments (MPA) on ozone and UV radiation, two different runs of the chemistry-climate model (CCM) SOCOL have been carried out. The first run was driven by the emission of ozone depleting substances (ODS) prescribed according to the restrictions of the MPA. For the second run we allow the ODS to grow by 3% annually. We find that the MPA would have saved up to 80% of the global annual total ozone by the end of the 21st century. Our calculations also show substantial changes of the stratospheric circulation pattern as well as in surface temperature and precipitations that could occur in the world without MPA implementations. To illustrate the changes in UV radiation at the surface and to emphasise certain features, which can only be seen for some particular regions if the influence of the cloud cover changes is accounted for, we calculate geographical distribution of the erythemally weighted irradiance (Eery). For the no Montreal Protocol simulation Eery increases by factor of 4 to 16 between the 1970s and 2100. For the scenario including the Montreal Protocol it is found that UV radiation starts to decrease in 2000, with continuous decline of 5% to 10% at middle latitudes in the both Northern and Southern Hemispheres. © 2013 Author(s).

Fehlmann A.,PMOD WRC | Kopp G.,LASP | Schmutz W.,PMOD WRC | Winkler R.,NPL | And 2 more authors.
Metrologia | Year: 2012

We report the fourth World Radiometric Reference (WRR)-to-SI comparison. At the National Physical Laboratory we compared three transfer pyrheliometer instruments in power mode with the SI radiometric scale. Compared with the three previous comparisons, we improved the experiment by operating the transfer instruments in vacuum. At the Total solar irradiance Radiometer Facility (TRF) located at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) in Boulder, we repeated the power comparison of one of the transfer instruments. The TRF also allowed the comparison and characterization of this instrument in irradiance mode. Using the WRR comparisons performed in Davos, we find that the WRR is 0.34% higher than the SI scale. Comparing irradiance mode calibrations with power mode calibrations reveals that previous estimates of stray light of PMO6-type radiometers were very low. The instrument calibrated at TRF was integrated in the space experiment PREMOS on the French satellite PICARD and carries the first vacuum irradiance calibration to space. © 2012 BIPM & IOP Publishing Ltd.

Wacker S.,PMOD WRC | Grobner J.,PMOD WRC | Vuilleumier L.,MeteoSwiss
Theoretical and Applied Climatology | Year: 2014

We demonstrate a method to improve the performance of commonly used parameterizations to calculate the cloud-free down-welling long-wave radiation at the surface. The method uses a monthly climatology of the effective radiating temperature of the atmosphere instead of the instantaneous screen-level temperature. The climatology of the effective radiating temperature can be derived from pyrgeometer measurements and was incorporated into two commonly used schemes. We compared the calculated cloud-free down-welling long-wave irradiances to high-quality pyrgeometer measurements from four Swiss sites. The discrepancies between observations and modified schemes can be reduced by up to 35%, resulting in a model uncertainty close to 5 W m-2 which corresponds to the measurement uncertainty of pyrgeometers. Furthermore, we introduce a new long-wave model which is based on radiative transfer calculations in the 8-14-μm wavelength range. In the remaining long-wave spectrum, the radiation is calculated using the Planck function with the effective radiating temperature of the atmosphere. The performance of this new model is consistent with the modified parameterizations. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Wien.

Finsterle W.,PMOD WRC | Koller S.,PMOD WRC | Beck I.,PMOD WRC | Spescha M.,PMOD WRC | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2014

PMOD/WRC is building the Compact and Light-weight Absolute RAdiometer (CLARA) to fly on the Norwegian Space Centre's (NSC) NORSAT-1 mission. The CLARA is based on a new design by PMOD/WRC which minimizes size and weight while improving the radiometric performance. The NORSAT-1 mission is planned to be launched to a polar LEO in Q4 2015. The nominal mission duration is three years but NSC intends to operate NORSAT-1 for long as the platform and payload remain functional. © 2014 SPIE.

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