|Domain||Atmospheric||Description||Radiation at the Earth’s surface is a fundamental component of the surface energy budget that is crucial to many aspects of the working of the climate system, including its energy and hydrological cycles. Systematic ground-based observation is needed for monitoring climate variability and change, and for evaluating products based on satellite data and from reanalyses and model runs. Data are also important for the siting and operation of solar power-generation systems, and for agriculture, health protection and tourism. UV indices and records of sunshine hours support the latter two applications.
Comprehensive observation of the surface radiation budget involves measurement of a number of specific variables: direct normal solar irradiance and exposure, diffuse horizontal solar irradiance and exposure, upwelling solar irradiance and exposure, downwelling IR irradiance and upwelling IR irradiance. [GCOS-195 4.3.6]