Global Energy Balance Archive (GEBA)
The Global Energy Balance Archive (GEBA) is a database developed and maintained within this group at ETH Zurich for the worldwide instrumentally measured energy fluxes at the surface. GEBA’s mission is to provide the worldwide most comprehensive source of information on the global distribution of surface energy fluxes. It has been continuously updated and currently contains around 2500 stations with 500‘000 monthly mean values of various surface energy balance components. The most widely measured quantity available in GEBA is the solar radiation incident at the Earth’s surface (“global radiation”). The data sources include data reports from National Weather Services, data from different research networks (BSRN, ARM, SURFRAD), data published in peer-reviewed publications and data obtained through personal communication. A major data source is also the World Radiation Data Centre (WRDC) in St. Petersburg. Different quality checks are applied to identify gross errors in the dataset. GEBA is used in various research applications, such as for the quantification of the global energy balance and its spatiotemporal variation, or for the estimation of long-term trends in the surface fluxes, which enabled for example the detection of multi-decadal variations in surface solar radiation, known as “global dimming” and “brightening”. GEBA is further extensively used for the evaluation of climate models and of satellite-derived surface flux products. On a more applied level, GEBA provides the basis for engineering applications in the context of solar power generation and agricultural production.