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Remote Sens. 2013, 5(6), 2943-2972; doi:10.3390/rs5062943

Satellite-Based Sunshine Duration for Europe

1,* , 2
1 Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Altenhöferallee 1, D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany 2 Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon EX1 3PB, UK 3 Deutscher Wetterdienst, Frankfurter Str. 135, Offenbach D-60387, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 April 2013 / Revised: 30 May 2013 / Accepted: 3 June 2013 / Published: 7 June 2013
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In this study, two different methods were applied to derive daily and monthly sunshine duration based on high-resolution satellite products provided by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring using data from Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager). The satellite products were either hourly cloud type or hourly surface incoming direct radiation. The satellite sunshine duration estimates were not found to be significantly different using the native 15-minute temporal resolution of SEVIRI. The satellite-based sunshine duration products give additional spatial information over the European continent compared with equivalent in situ-based products. An evaluation of the satellite sunshine duration by product intercomparison and against station measurements was carried out to determine their accuracy. The satellite data were found to be within ±1 h/day compared to high-quality Baseline Surface Radiation Network or surface synoptic observations (SYNOP) station measurements. The satellite-based products differ more over the oceans than over land, mainly because of the treatment of fractional clouds in the cloud type-based sunshine duration product. This paper presents the methods used to derive the satellite sunshine duration products and the performance of the different retrievals. The main benefits and disadvantages compared to station-based products are also discussed.
Keywords: sunshine duration; Meteosat Second Generation; evaluation; CM SAF; cloud type; surface incoming direct radiation; climate monitoring sunshine duration; Meteosat Second Generation; evaluation; CM SAF; cloud type; surface incoming direct radiation; climate monitoring
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kothe, S.; Good, E.; Obregón, A.; Ahrens, B.; Nitsche, H. Satellite-Based Sunshine Duration for Europe. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 2943-2972.

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