Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 5751-5758, 2009
www.atmos-chem-phys.net/9/5751/2009/
doi:10.5194/acp-9-5751-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
A simple model for cloud radiative forcing
T. Corti and T. Peter
Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. We present a simple model for the longwave and shortwave cloud radiative forcing based on the evaluation of extensive radiative transfer calculations, covering a global range of conditions. The simplicity of the model equations fosters the understanding on how clouds affect the Earth's energy balance. In comparison with results from a comprehensive radiative transfer model, the accuracy of our parameterization is typically better than 20%. We demonstrate the usefulness of our model using the example of tropical cirrus clouds. We conclude that possible applications for the model include the convenient estimate of cloud radiative forcing for a wide range of conditions, the evaluation of the sensitivity to changes in environmental conditions, and as a tool in education. An online version of the model is available at http://www.iac.ethz.ch/url/crf.

Citation: Corti, T. and Peter, T.: A simple model for cloud radiative forcing, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 5751-5758, doi:10.5194/acp-9-5751-2009, 2009.
 
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