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Estimates of clear sky global solar irradiance using the parametric model SPCTRAL2 were tested against clear sky radiation observations at four sites in Hawaii using daily, mean monthly, and 1 year mean model parameter settings. Atmospheric parameters in SPCTRAL2 and similar models are usually set at site-specific values and are not varied to represent the effects of fluctuating humidity, aerosol amount and type, or ozone concentration, because time-dependent atmospheric parameter estimates are not available at most sites of interest. In this study, we sought to determine the added value of using time dependent as opposed to fixed model input parameter settings. At the AERONET site, Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) on the island of Hawaii, where daily measurements of atmospheric optical properties and hourly solar radiation observations are available, use of daily rather than 1 year mean aerosol parameter values reduced mean bias error (MBE) from 18 to 10 W m-2 and root mean square error from 25 to 17 W m-2. At three stations in the HaleNet climate network, located at elevations of 960, 1640, and 2590 m on the island of Maui, where aerosol-related parameter settings were interpolated from observed values for AERONET sites at MLO (3397 m) and Lāna'i (20 m), and precipitable water was estimated using radiosonde-derived humidity profiles from nearby Hilo, the model performed best when using constant 1 year mean parameter values. At HaleNet Station 152, for example, MBE was 18, 10, and 8 W m-2 for daily, monthly, and 1 year mean parameters, respectively. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.

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Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres

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Trade Winds; climate; Kauai

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Geography Commons



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