Deriving clear-sky longwave spectral flux from spaceborne hyperspectral radiance measurements: a case study with AIRS observations
Abstract. Previous studies have shown that longwave (LW) spectral fluxes have unique merit in climate studies. Using Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) radiances as a case study, this study presents an algorithm to derive the entire LW clear-sky spectral fluxes from spaceborne hyperspectral observations. No other auxiliary observations are needed in the algorithm. A clear-sky scene is identified using a three-step detection method. The identified clear-sky scenes are then categorized into different sub-scene types using information about precipitable water, lapse rate and surface temperature inferred from the AIRS radiances at six selected channels. A previously established algorithm is then used to invert AIRS radiances to spectral fluxes over the entire LW spectrum at 10 cm−1 spectral interval. Accuracy of the algorithms is evaluated against collocated Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) observations. For nadir-view observations, the mean difference between outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) derived by this algorithm and the collocated CERES OLR is 1.52 Wm−2 with a standard deviation of 2.46 Wm−2. When the algorithm is extended for viewing zenith angle up to 45°, the performance is comparable to that for nadir-view results.