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Empirical Relations Between the Earth's Radiation Budget, Cloudiness, and Various Meteorological Parameters


Wenkert, Daniel (1986) Empirical Relations Between the Earth's Radiation Budget, Cloudiness, and Various Meteorological Parameters. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/5TWR-Z031.


I have investigated the effect of variation of meteorological variables, cloudiness, and surface variables (such as albedo and continentality) on the reflected solar and emitted terrestrial radiation leaving the top of the atmosphere. The investigation was empirical and used the radiometric data from the scanner channels of the Earth Radiation Budget (ERB) instrument on Nimbus 7, cloudiness variables from analyses done by L. Stowe et al. on data from the Temperature and Humidity Infrared Radiometer (THIR) on Nimbus 7, and meteorological data from the FGGE (First GARP Global Experiment) Level III-b global weather analyses. The data were analysed on time scales of one day and spatial scales of about 450 km.

This investigation had three main goals. The first goal was to determine the effect of cloudiness on the net radiation for various surface and atmospheric conditions during the period investigated (12 June to 18 June 1979). The second goal was to determine whether or not this type of linear analysis on a data set of synoptic time and space scales could be used for a reasonable and empirically accurate parameterization of radiation to be used in simple energy balance climate models (which are valid at vastly larger time and space scales than this data set). The third goal was to compare the regressions determined from this data set between radiation, cloudiness, and weather with the internal statistics developed in a Global Circulation Mode l (GCM), with the idea that eventually this type of linear analysis could be used as a constraint on GCMs used by the atmospheric science community.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Clouds, radiation budget, climate
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Planetary Sciences
Minor Option:Astronomy
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Ingersoll, Andrew P.
Thesis Committee:
  • Muhleman, Duane Owen (chair)
  • Ingersoll, Andrew P.
  • Goldreich, Peter Martin
  • Epstein, Samuel
Defense Date:4 October 1985
Non-Caltech Author Email:Daniel.Wenkert (AT)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:01302013-101810609
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7455
Deposited By: Dan Anguka
Deposited On:30 Jan 2013 18:30
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 19:33

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