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Decadal Changes of the Reflected Solar Radiation and the Earth Energy Imbalance

Observations Division, Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
Department of Electronics and Informatics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, BE-1050 Brussels, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(6), 663;
Received: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Radiation Budget)
PDF [1269 KB, uploaded 19 March 2019]


Decadal changes of the Reflected Solar Radiation (RSR) as measured by CERES from 2000 to 2018 are analysed. For both polar regions, changes of the clear-sky RSR correlate well with changes of the Sea Ice Extent. In the Arctic, sea ice is clearly melting, and as a result the earth is becoming darker under clear-sky conditions. However, the correlation between the global all-sky RSR and the polar clear-sky RSR changes is low. Moreover, the RSR and the Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) changes are negatively correlated, so they partly cancel each other. The increase of the OLR is higher then the decrease of the RSR. Also the incoming solar radiation is decreasing. As a result, over the 2000–2018 period the Earth Energy Imbalance (EEI) appears to have a downward trend of −0.16 ± 0.11 W/m2dec. The EEI trend agrees with a trend of the Ocean Heat Content Time Derivative of −0.26 ± 0.06 (1 σ ) W/m2dec. View Full-Text
Keywords: Earth Radiation Budget; Reflected Solar Radiation; Earth Energy Imbalance Earth Radiation Budget; Reflected Solar Radiation; Earth Energy Imbalance

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Dewitte, S.; Clerbaux, N.; Cornelis, J. Decadal Changes of the Reflected Solar Radiation and the Earth Energy Imbalance. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 663.

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