The Earth’s surface net radiation controls the energy and water exchanges between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere, and can be derived from satellite observations. The ability to monitor the net surface radiation over large areas at high spatial and temporal resolution is essential for many applications, such as weather forecasting, short-term climate prediction or water resources management. The objective of this paper is to derive the net surface radiation in the shortwave domain at high temporal (half-hourly) and spatial resolution (~1 km) using visible imagery from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). The retrieval algorithm represents an adaptation to GOES data of a standard algorithm initially developed for the NASA-operated Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) scanner. The methodology relies on: (1) the estimation of top of atmosphere shortwave radiation from GOES spectral measurements; and (2) the calculation of net surface shortwave (SW) radiation accounting for atmospheric effects. Comparison of GOES-retrieved net surface shortwave radiation with ground-measurements at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Surface Radiation (SURFRAD) stations yields very good agreement with average bias lower than 5 W·m−2
and root mean square difference around 70 W·m−2
. The algorithm performance is usually higher over areas characterized by low spatial variability in term of land cover type and surface biophysical properties. The technique does not involve retrieval and assessment of cloud properties and can be easily adapted to other meteorological satellites around the globe.
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