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Dataset of high-resolution (3 hour, 10 km) global surface solar radiation (2000-2017)

Surface solar radiation (SSR), which drives the energy, water and carbon cycles of Earth's system, is the driving input for simulations of hydrology, ecology, agriculture and land-surface processes. SSR is also an important indicator for solar energy applications. Developing long-term and high-resolution dataset of surface solar radiation is crucial for researches on simulation of land surface processes, the selection of sites for solar power plants, decisions on energy policy, optimization of solar power systems and operations management.

Dr. TANG Wenjun and his collaborators from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have produced a global surface solar radiation (SSR) dataset with 3 hour temporal resolution and 10 km spatial resolution from 2000 to 2017, using an improved physical parameterization based on the recent release of the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) HXG cloud products, new ERA5 reanalysis data, and MODIS aerosol and albedo products. Validation and comparisons with other global satellite radiation products indicate that the accuracy of this SSR estimates was generally higher than those of the ISCCP flux dataset (ISCCP-FD), the global energy and water cycle experiment surface radiation budget (GEWEX-SRB), and the Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy Systems (CERES). Meanwhile, the spatial resolution of this SSR dataset is much higher than those of the global satellite radiation products of GEWEX-SRB, ISCCP-FD and CERES.

This SSR dataset is the main input data for the land-surface process simulations, such as glacial modeling, hydrological modeling, ecological modeling and agricultural modeling, and thus it can be used to improve the forcing dataset for land process studies. Meanwhile, this SSR is of great significance in the field of solar energy applications, such as the selection of sites for solar power plants, evaluation of solar energy application system, Establishment of solar energy prediction model, architectural daylighting design, and integration and optimization of power grid.

At present, this study was published in Earth System Science Data with the article entitled “A 16-year dataset (2000–2015) of high-resolution (3 h, 10 km) global surface solar radiation”. The National Tibetan Plateau Data Center has served as the data repository for this paper, published this dataset recently, and shares this dataset free of charge. Dr. Tang and his coauthors intend to expand this dataset of SSR estimates back to mid-1983. They also plan to expand the dataset beyond 2015 by using new-generation geostationary satellites.

This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant nos. 2018YFA0605400 and 2017YFA0603604), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 41671372), the Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS (no. 2017100), the 13th Five-Year Informatization Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant no. XXH13505-06), and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant no. XDA20100102).

Link to data:

Link to article: