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Das IAC bloggt auf dem ETH-Klimablog, der Informationsplattform der ETH Zürich zum Klimawandel. Mehr auf www.klimablog.ethz.ch.
The SunCloud project: An initiative for a development of a worldwide sunshine duration and cloudiness observations dataset
One problem encountered when establishing the causes of global dimming and brightening is the limited number of long-term solar radiation series with accurate and calibrated measurements. For this reason, the analysis is often supported and extended with the use of other climatic variables such as sunshine duration and cloud cover. Specifically, sunshine duration is defined as the amount of time usually expressed in hours that direct solar radiation exceeds a certain threshold (usually taken at 120 W m-2). Consequently, this variable can be considered as an excellent proxy measure of solar radiation at interannual and decadal time scales, with the advantage that measurements of this variable were initiated in the late 19th century in different, worldwide, main meteorological stations. Nevertheless, detailed and up-to-date analysis of sunshine duration behavior on global or hemispheric scales are still missing.
Thus, starting on 2011 in the framework of different research projects, we will engage a worldwide compilation of the longest daily or monthly sunshine duration series from the late 19th century until present. Several quality control checks and homogenization methods will be applied to the generated sunshine dataset. The relationship between the more precise downward solar radiation series from the Global Energy Balance Archive (GEBA) and the homogenized sunshine series will be studied in order to reconstruct global and regional solar irradiance at the Earth’s surface since the late 19th century. Since clouds are the main cause of interannual and decadal variability of radiation reaching the Earth’s surface, as a complement to the long-term sunshine series we will also compile worldwide surface cloudiness observations.
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