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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 2501-2521, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
27 Apr 2018
Evaluation of Himawari-8 surface downwelling solar radiation by ground-based measurements
Alessandro Damiani1, Hitoshi Irie1, Takashi Horio1, Tamio Takamura1, Pradeep Khatri2, Hideaki Takenaka3, Takashi Nagao3, Takashi Y. Nakajima4, and Raul R. Cordero5 1CEReS, Chiba University, Chiba, 263-8522, Japan
2Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies, Tohoku University, Sendai, 980-8578, Japan
3Earth Observation Research Center, JAXA, Tsukuba, 305-0047, Japan
4Research and Information Center, Tokai University, Tokyo, 151-0063, Japan
5Department of Physics, Santiago University, Santiago de Chile, 8320000, Chile
Abstract. Observations from the new Japanese geostationary satellite Himawari-8 permit quasi-real-time estimation of global shortwave radiation at an unprecedented temporal resolution. However, accurate comparisons with ground-truthing observations are essential to assess their uncertainty. In this study, we evaluated the Himawari-8 global radiation product AMATERASS using observations recorded at four SKYNET stations in Japan and, for certain analyses, from the surface network of the Japanese Meteorological Agency in 2016. We found that the spatiotemporal variability of the satellite estimates was smaller than that of the ground observations; variability decreased with increases in the time step and spatial domain. Cloud variability was the main source of uncertainty in the satellite radiation estimates, followed by direct effects caused by aerosols and bright albedo. Under all-sky conditions, good agreement was found between satellite and ground-based data, with a mean bias in the range of 20–30 W m−2 (i.e., AMATERASS overestimated ground observations) and a root mean square error (RMSE) of approximately 70–80 W m−2. However, results depended on the time step used in the validation exercise, on the spatial domain, and on the different climatological regions. In particular, the validation performed at 2.5 min showed largest deviations and RMSE values ranging from about 110 W m−2 for the mainland to a maximum of 150 W m−2 in the subtropical region. We also detected a limited overestimation in the number of clear-sky episodes, particularly at the pixel level. Overall, satellite-based estimates were higher under overcast conditions, whereas frequent episodes of cloud-induced enhanced surface radiation (i.e., measured radiation was greater than expected clear-sky radiation) tended to reduce this difference. Finally, the total mean bias was approximately 10–15 W m−2 under clear-sky conditions, mainly because of overall instantaneous direct aerosol forcing efficiency in the range of 120–150 W m−2 per unit of aerosol optical depth (AOD). A seasonal anticorrelation between AOD and global radiation differences was evident at all stations and was also observed within the diurnal cycle.
Citation: Damiani, A., Irie, H., Horio, T., Takamura, T., Khatri, P., Takenaka, H., Nagao, T., Nakajima, T. Y., and Cordero, R. R.: Evaluation of Himawari-8 surface downwelling solar radiation by ground-based measurements, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 2501-2521,, 2018.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The Tohoku Earthquake of March 2011 stressed the need for energy source diversity, and the governmental policy in Japan has been stimulating a broader use of renewable energy. Solar power is potentially able to mitigate climate change triggered by greenhouse gas emissions, but its instability caused by cloudiness is a critical issue for suppliers. To develop an appropriate control system, surface solar radiation data must be made available as accurately as possible.
The Tohoku Earthquake of March 2011 stressed the need for energy source diversity, and the...