31 Aug 2023
 | 31 Aug 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Four decades of global surface albedo estimates in the third edition of the CLARA climate data record

Aku Riihelä, Emmihenna Jääskeläinen, and Viivi Kallio-Myers

Abstract. We present the surface albedo data in the third edition of the CM SAF cLoud, Albedo and surface Radiation (CLARA) data record family. The temporal coverage of this edition is extended from 1979 until near-present day. The core algorithms and data format remain unchanged from previous editions, but now also white- and blue-sky albedo estimates are available for the first time in CLARA data. We present an overview of the retrieval, followed by an assessment of the accuracy and stability of the data record, based on collocated comparisons with reference surface albedo measurements and intercomparisons with preceding satellite-based albedo data records. Specific attention is paid to addressing the spatial representativeness problem inherent in the point-to-pixel validation of satellite-based coarse surface albedo estimates against in situ measurements. We find the CLARA-A3 albedo data to match or improve upon the accuracy and robustness of the predecessor record (CLARA-A2), with good agreement found when compared to in situ measurements. In cases of a large bias, spatial representativeness of the measurement site typically explains most of the increase. We conclude with a summarizing discussion on the observed strengths and weaknesses of the new data record, including guidance for potential users. The data is available through DOI: 10.5676/EUM_SAF_CM/CLARA_AVHRR/V003.

Aku Riihelä et al.

Status: open (until 31 Oct 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-282', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Sep 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2023-282', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Sep 2023 reply

Aku Riihelä et al.

Data sets

CLARA-A3: CM SAF cLoud, Albedo and surface RAdiation dataset from AVHRR data - Edition 3 Karl-Göran Karlsson, Aku Riihelä, Jörg Trentmann, Martin Stengel, Irina Solodovnik, Jan Fokke Meirink, Abhay Devasthale, Emmihenna Jääskeläinen, Viivi Kallio-Myers, Salomon Eliasson, Nikos Benas, Erik Johansson, Diana Stein, Stephan Finkensieper, Nina Håkansson, Tom Akkermans, Nicolas Clerbaux, Nathalie Selbach, Marc Schröder, and Rainer Hollmann

Aku Riihelä et al.


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Short summary
We describe a new climate data record describing the surface albedo, or reflectivitity, of Earth's surface (called CLARA-A3 SAL). The climate data record spans over four decades of satellite observations, beginning from 1979. We conduct a quality assessment of the generated data, comparing it against other satellite data and albedo observations made on the ground. We find that the new data record in general matches surface observations well and is stable through time.