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Aerosol properties and aerosol–radiation interactions in clear sky conditions over Germany

  • The clear-sky radiative effect of aerosol-radiation interactions is of relevance for our understanding of the climate system. The influence of aerosol on the surface energy budget is of high interest for the renewable energy sector. In this study, the radiative effect is investigated in particular with respect to seasonal and regional variations for the region of Germany and the year 2015 at the surface and top of atmosphere using two complementary approaches. First, an ensemble of clear-sky models which explicitly consider aerosols is utilized to retrieve the aerosol optical depth and the surface direct radiative effect of aerosols by means of a clear sky fitting technique. For this, short-wave broadband irradiance measurements in the absence of clouds are used as a basis. A clear sky detection algorithm is used to identify cloud free observations. Considered are measurements of the shortwave broadband global and diffuse horizontal irradiance with shaded and unshaded pyranometers at 25 stations across Germany within the observational network of the German Weather Service (DWD). Clear sky models used are MMAC, MRMv6.1, METSTAT, ESRA, Heliosat-1, CEM and the simplified Solis model. The definition of aerosol and atmospheric characteristics of the models are examined in detail for their suitability for this approach. Second, the radiative effect is estimated using explicit radiative transfer simulations with inputs on the meteorological state of the atmosphere, trace-gases and aerosol from CAMS reanalysis. The aerosol optical properties (aerosol optical depth, Ångström exponent, single scattering albedo and assymetrie parameter) are first evaluated with AERONET direct sun and inversion products. The largest inconsistency is found for the aerosol absorption, which is overestimated by about 0.03 or about 30 % by the CAMS reanalysis. Compared to the DWD observational network, the simulated global, direct and diffuse irradiances show reasonable agreement within the measurement uncertainty. The radiative kernel method is used to estimate the resulting uncertainty and bias of the simulated direct radiative effect. The uncertainty is estimated to −1.5 ± 7.7 and 0.6 ± 3.5 W m−2 at the surface and top of atmosphere, respectively, while the annual-mean biases at the surface, top of atmosphere and total atmosphere are −10.6, −6.5 and 4.1 W m−2, respectively. The retrieval of the aerosol radiative effect with the clear sky models shows a high level of agreement with the radiative transfer simulations, with an RMSE of 5.8 W m−2 and a correlation of 0.75. The annual mean of the REari at the surface for the 25 DWD stations shows a value of −12.8 ± 5 W m−2 as average over the clear sky models, compared to −11 W m−2 from the radiative transfer simulations. Since all models assume a fixed aerosol characterisation, the annual cycle of the aerosol radiation effect cannot be reproduced. Out of this set of clear sky models, the largest level of agreement is shown by the ESRA and MRMv6.1 models.

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Document Type:Preprint
Author:Jonas Witthuhn, Anja Hünerbein, Florian Filipitsch, Stefan Wacker, Stefanie Meilinger, Hartwig Deneke
Parent Title (English):Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion
Article Number:517
Number of pages:64
Publisher:Copernicus GmbH
Date of first publication:2021/07/09
Publication status:Final version published in Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 14591–14630, 2021
Copyright:© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Funding:The work presented in this paper has been conducted within the scope of the research project MetPVNet funded by the German FederalMinistry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Ingenieurwissenschaften und Kommunikation
Institut für Technik, Ressourcenschonung und Energieeffizienz (TREE)
Internationales Zentrum für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (IZNE)
Projects:MetPVNet - Entwicklung innovativer satellitengestützter Methoden zur verbesserten PV-Ertragsvorhersage auf verschiedenen Zeitskalen für Anwendungen auf Verteilnetzebene (DE/BMWi/0350009A)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 551 Geologie, Hydrologie, Meteorologie
Entry in this database:2021/07/20
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International