Assessment of NASA GISS CMIP5 and post-CMIP5 simulated clouds and TOA radiation budgets using satellite observations. Part II: TOA radiation budget and CREs

Ryan E. Stanfield, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Anthony D. Del Genio, Patrick Minnis, David Doelling, Norman Loeb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


In Part I of this study, the NASA GISS Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and post-CMIP5 (herein called C5 and P5, respectively) simulated cloud properties were assessed utilizing multiple satellite observations, with a particular focus on the southern midlatitudes (SMLs). This study applies the knowledge gained from Part I of this series to evaluate the modeled TOA radiation budgets and cloud radiative effects (CREs) globally using CERES EBAF (CE) satellite observations and the impact of regional cloud properties and water vapor on the TOA radiation budgets. Comparisons revealed that the P5- and C5-simulated global means of clear-sky and all-sky outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) match well with CE observations, while biases are observed regionally. Negative biases are found in both P5- and C5-simulated clear-sky OLR. P5-simulated all-sky albedo slightly increased over the SMLs due to the increase in low-level cloud fraction from the new planetary boundary layer (PBL) scheme. Shortwave, longwave, and net CRE are quantitatively analyzed as well. Regions of strong large-scale atmospheric upwelling/downwelling motion are also defined to compare regional differences across multiple cloud and radiative variables. In general, the P5 and C5 simulations agree with the observations better over the downwelling regime than over the upwelling regime. Comparing the results herein with the cloud property comparisons presented in Part I, the modeled TOA radiation budgets and CREs agree well with the CE observations. These results, combined with results in Part I, have quantitatively estimated how much improvement is found in the P5-simulated cloud and radiative properties, particularly over the SMLs and tropics, due to the implementation of the new PBL and convection schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1842-1864
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Climate models
  • Cloud parameterizations
  • Cloud radiative effects
  • Model comparison
  • Model evaluation/performance
  • Radiation budgets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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