Absorption of Solar Radiation by the Cloudy Atmosphere Interpretations of Collocated Aircraft Measurements
ABSTRACT As part of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Enhanced Shortwave Experiment (ARESE), we have obtained and analyzed measurements made from collocated aircraft of the absorption of solar radiation within the atmospheric column between the two aircraft. The measurements were taken during October 1995 at the ARM site in Oklahoma. Relative to a theoretical radiative transfer model, we find no evidence for excess solar absorption in the clear atmosphere and significant evidence for its existence in the cloudy atmosphere. This excess cloud solar absorption appears to occur in both visible (0.224-0.68 microns) and near-infrared (0.68-3.30 microns) spectral regions, although not at 0.5 microns for the visible contribution, and it is shown to be true absorption rather than an artifact of sampling errors caused by measuring three-dimensional clouds.