Loeb Norman G.

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Norman G.

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  • Article
    Surface irradiances consistent with CERES-derived top-of-atmosphere shortwave and longwave irradiances
    (American Meteorological Society, 2013-05-01) Kato, Seiji ; Loeb, Norman G. ; Rose, Fred G. ; Doelling, David R. ; Rutan, David A. ; Caldwell, Thomas E. ; Yu, Lisan ; Weller, Robert A.
    The estimate of surface irradiance on a global scale is possible through radiative transfer calculations using satellite-retrieved surface, cloud, and aerosol properties as input. Computed top-of-atmosphere (TOA) irradiances, however, do not necessarily agree with observation-based values, for example, from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES). This paper presents a method to determine surface irradiances using observational constraints of TOA irradiance from CERES. A Lagrange multiplier procedure is used to objectively adjust inputs based on their uncertainties such that the computed TOA irradiance is consistent with CERES-derived irradiance to within the uncertainty. These input adjustments are then used to determine surface irradiance adjustments. Observations by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO), CloudSat, and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) that are a part of the NASA A-Train constellation provide the uncertainty estimates. A comparison with surface observations from a number of sites shows that the bias [root-mean-square (RMS) difference] between computed and observed monthly mean irradiances calculated with 10 years of data is 4.7 (13.3) W m−2 for downward shortwave and −2.5 (7.1) W m−2 for downward longwave irradiances over ocean and −1.7 (7.8) W m−2 for downward shortwave and −1.0 (7.6) W m−2 for downward longwave irradiances over land. The bias and RMS error for the downward longwave and shortwave irradiances over ocean are decreased from those without constraint. Similarly, the bias and RMS error for downward longwave over land improves, although the constraint does not improve downward shortwave over land. This study demonstrates how synergetic use of multiple instruments (CERES, MODIS, CALIPSO, CloudSat, AIRS, and geostationary satellites) improves the accuracy of surface irradiance computations.
  • Article
    Designing the climate observing system of the future
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-01-23) Weatherhead, Elizabeth C. ; Wielicki, Bruce A. ; Ramaswamy, Venkatachalam ; Abbott, Mark ; Ackerman, Thomas P. ; Atlas, Robert ; Brasseur, Guy ; Bruhwiler, Lori ; Busalacchi, Antonio J. ; Butler, James H. ; Clack, Christopher T. M. ; Cooke, Roger ; Cucurull, Lidia ; Davis, Sean M. ; English, Jason M. ; Fahey, David W. ; Fine, Steven S. ; Lazo, Jeffrey K. ; Liang, Shunlin ; Loeb, Norman G. ; Rignot, Eric ; Soden, Brian ; Stanitski, Diane ; Stephens, Graeme ; Tapley, Byron D. ; Thompson, Anne M. ; Trenberth, Kevin E. ; Wuebbles, Donald
    Climate observations are needed to address a large range of important societal issues including sea level rise, droughts, floods, extreme heat events, food security, and freshwater availability in the coming decades. Past, targeted investments in specific climate questions have resulted in tremendous improvements in issues important to human health, security, and infrastructure. However, the current climate observing system was not planned in a comprehensive, focused manner required to adequately address the full range of climate needs. A potential approach to planning the observing system of the future is presented in this article. First, this article proposes that priority be given to the most critical needs as identified within the World Climate Research Program as Grand Challenges. These currently include seven important topics: melting ice and global consequences; clouds, circulation and climate sensitivity; carbon feedbacks in the climate system; understanding and predicting weather and climate extremes; water for the food baskets of the world; regional sea-level change and coastal impacts; and near-term climate prediction. For each Grand Challenge, observations are needed for long-term monitoring, process studies and forecasting capabilities. Second, objective evaluations of proposed observing systems, including satellites, ground-based and in situ observations as well as potentially new, unidentified observational approaches, can quantify the ability to address these climate priorities. And third, investments in effective climate observations will be economically important as they will offer a magnified return on investment that justifies a far greater development of observations to serve society's needs.