Evaluation of the tropical TOA flux diurnal cycle in MERRA and ERA-interim retrospective analyses

  • Itterly K
  • Taylor P
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AbstractReanalysis model output is extensively used in atmospheric research and must be rigorously and continuously evaluated to understand the strengths and weaknesses. This paper evaluates the tropical top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux diurnal cycle in NASA’s Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) and the ECMWF Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) against Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) synoptic edition 3A (SYN Ed3A) TOA flux data. MERRA and ERA-Interim are able to reproduce large-scale features of the diurnal cycle, including land–ocean contrast. MERRA and ERA-Interim, however, fail to reproduce many regional features of the climatological annual diurnal cycle. The TOA flux diurnal cycle errors in regions dominated by convective diurnal cycles are 5–10 times larger than in nonconvective regions. These errors in the TOA radiative flux diurnal cycle are primarily attributed to errors in the cloud diurnal evolution and specifically the failure to reproduce diu...

Author-supplied keywords

  • Climatology
  • Diurnal effects
  • Model evaluation/performance
  • Radiative fluxes
  • Reanalysis data
  • Tropics

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  • Kyle F. Itterly

  • Patrick C. Taylor

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