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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-204
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-204
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: data description paper 11 Nov 2019

Submitted as: data description paper | 11 Nov 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

A high-quality hourly, daily and monthly solar irradiance dataset in China during 1981–2014 based on MERRA-2 Reanalysis products

Wenmin Qin1, Lunche Wang1, Ming Zhang1, Lan Feng1, Hejin Fang1, Hong Cai1, Yulong Zhong1, Qiqi Zhu1, and Chao Yang2 Wenmin Qin et al.
  • 1Hubei Key Laboratory of Critical Zone Evolution, School of Geography and Information Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, 430074, China
  • 2Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430077, China

Abstract. Solar irradiance (SI) is the main driving factor contributing to climate change and energy balance between the land and atmosphere. High-quality records of global solar irradiance (GHI), direct normal irradiance (DNI) and diffuse solar irradiance (DIF) are of vital importance for solar applications, but the solar radiation observations are sparse around the world. As an alternative, numerous SI reanalysis data in grid format have been developed in regional and global scales. Among them, the MERRA-2 (Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2) products could provide high quality SI records with acceptable accuracy and long temporal ranges. This study attempted to improve the accuracy of GHI records derived from MERRA-2 products, and to generate grid DNI and DIF datasets for all-sky conditions over mainland China during 1981–2014, based on the REST2 model and cloud transmittance estimates combining sunshine observations. The results indicate that the estimated GHI values (GHInew) show higher agreements with GHI measurement at 17 CMA (China meteorological administrations) stations than that for the GHI records derived from MERRA-2 products (MERRA-2 GHI). Then, grid GHI, DNI and DIF datasets (0.50° (lat) *0.625° (lon)) throughout China were constructed. The results indicated that the MERRA-2 GHI records may overestimate the GHI values over mainland China. Generally, the GHI and DNI values gradually decreased during 1981-2014, however, DIF values gradually increased from 1981 to 2014, especially in 1992 (DIF = 90.914 W m−2, anomaly DIF value = 15.544 W m−2). The Qinghai Tibetan Plateau has always been an area with the highest GHI, the highest DNI and the lowest DIF values, whereas the Sichuan Basin has always been an area with the lowest GHI, the lowest DNI and the highest DIF values. The grid GHI, DNI and DIF dataset generated in this study can assist in numerous solar studies and applications. We provide these solar irradiance data in publicly available repository: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.10026563 (Qin, W. et al., 2019).

Wenmin Qin et al.
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A high-quality hourly, daily and monthly solar irradiance dataset in China during 1981-2014 based on MERRA-2 Reanalysis products Wenmin Qin, Lunche Wang, Ming Zhang, Lan Feng, Yulong Zhong, Qiqi Zhu,Hejin Fang, Hong Cai, and Chao Yang https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.10026563

Wenmin Qin et al.
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Short summary
High-quality data of GHI, DNI and DIF are of vital importance for solar applications, but the solar radiation observations are sparse around the world. In this study, long-term grid GHI, DNI and DIF datasets (0.50° (lat) *0.625° (lon)) with high accuracy, high spatial continiuty and high temporal continiuty throughout mainland China during 1981–2014 were constructed. The grid GHI, DNI and DIF dataset generated in this study can assist in numerous solar studies and applications.
High-quality data of GHI, DNI and DIF are of vital importance for solar applications, but the...
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