The Baseline Surface Radiation Network and its World Radiation Monitoring Centre at the Alfred Wegener Institute

Gert.Koenig-Langlo [ at ]


The Earth’s radiation budget is essential for driving the general circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, and for building the main conditions for the Earth's climate system. To detect changes in the Earth’s surface radiation field the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) and its central archive - the World Radiation Monitoring Center (WRMC) - was created in 1992. BSRN is a project of the Radiation Panel (now the Data and Assessment Panel) from the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) under the umbrella of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). It is the global baseline network for surface radiation for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), contributing to the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW), and forming a cooperative network with the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). The data are of primary importance in supporting the validation and confirmation of satellite and computer model estimates. At a relatively small number of stations (currently 58) in contrasting climatic zones, solar and atmospheric radiation is measured with instruments of the highest available accuracy and with high temporal resolution (mainly 1 minute). A total of about 7000 station-month datasets were available in the WRMC in mid 2013. All data are interactively accessible to external users for bona fide research purposes at no cost. This report provides information for scientists interested in high quality surface radiation data as well as for scientists running a BSRN station. It offers information about the available data, the data access and describes tools to visualize the data and to check their quality.

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König-Langlo, G. , Sieger, R. , Schmithüsen, H. , Bücker, A. , Richter, F. and Dutton, E. (2013): The Baseline Surface Radiation Network and its World Radiation Monitoring Centre at the Alfred Wegener Institute , [Other]

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