New Absolute Reference for Atmospheric Longwave Irradiance Measurements with Traceability to SI Units

Ibrahim Reda, J. Gröbner, S. Wacker, S. Nyeki, K. Behrens, J. Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus Citations


Two independently designed and calibrated absolute radiometers measuring downwelling longwave irradiance were compared during two field campaigns in February and October 2013 at Physikalisch Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos/World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC). One absolute cavity pyrgeometer (ACP) developed by NREL and up to four Integrating Sphere Infrared Radiometers (IRIS) developed by PMOD/WRC took part in these intercomparisons. The internal consistency of the IRIS radiometers and the agreement with the ACP were within ±1 Wm−2, providing traceability of atmospheric longwave irradiance to the international system of units with unprecedented accuracy. Measurements performed during the two field campaigns and over the past 4 years have shown that the World Infrared Standard Group (WISG) of pyrgeometers is underestimating clear-sky atmospheric longwave irradiance by 2 to 6 Wm−2, depending on the amount of integrated water vapor (IWV). This behavior is an instrument-dependent feature and requires an individual sensitivity calibration of each pyrgeometer with respect to an absolute reference such as IRIS or ACP. For IWV larger than 10 mm, an average sensitivity correction of +6.5% should be applied to the WISG in order to be consistent with the longwave reference represented by the ACP and IRIS radiometers. A concerted effort at international level will need to be implemented in order to correct measurements of atmospheric downwelling longwave irradiance traceable to the WISG.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)7083-7090
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-3B10-62438


Dive into the research topics of 'New Absolute Reference for Atmospheric Longwave Irradiance Measurements with Traceability to SI Units'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this