Cloud fraction (CF) plays a crucial role in the Earth’s radiative energy budget and thus in the climate. Reliable long-term measurements of CF are rare. The ground-based TROpospheric WAter RAdiometer (TROWARA) at Bern, Switzerland continuously measures integrated liquid water and infrared brightness temperature with a time resolution of 6–11 s since 2004. The view direction of TROWARA is constant (zenith angle 50
), and all radiometer channels see the same volume of the atmosphere. TROWARA is sensitive to liquid water clouds while the microwave signal of ice clouds is negligible. By means of the measurement data we derived CF of thin liquid water clouds (1); thick supercooled liquid water clouds (2); thick warm liquid water clouds (3) and all liquid water clouds (4). The article presents the time series and seasonal climatologies of these four classes of CF. CF of thick supercooled liquid water clouds is larger than 15% from November to March. A significant negative trend of
%/yr is found for CF of thin liquid water clouds. No trends are found for the other classes (2, 3, 4) since their strong natural variability impedes a significant trend. However, CF of warm liquid water clouds increased by about
%/yr from 2004 to 2015. Finally, we performed a Mann-Kendall analysis of seasonal trends which gave several significant trends in the classes 1, 2 and 3.
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