A simple model for cloud radiative forcing Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland
Received: 23 February 2009 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 31 March 2009 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
Revised: 16 July 2009 – Accepted: 20 July 2009 – Published: 12 August 2009
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.