BSRN

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The central archive of the BSRN - the Baseline Surface Radiation Network is hosted by AWI with Pangaea since 2007-12-01 (BSRN@AWI). Data were transfered from the original ftp-site at ETH until about 2008-03-01. Data are distributed by the World Radiation Monitoring Center (WRMC).

BSRN is a project of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and its sub-program - GEWEX. BSRN is operationally responsible to the GEWEX Radiation Panel chaired by Dr Chris Kummerow. BSRN is now also a sub-program of GCOS, the Global Climate Observing System and answers to the GCOS AOPC. More information on these organizations can be found on their web sites (http://www.gewex.org, http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/gcos). Further information on how to become a part of BSRN is given on the BSRN Homepage (http://www.bsrn.awi.de/en/stations/listings). Below are some aspects of what we expect for a BSRN site, although some existing sites are less than ideal.

The operation of the site is to be long-term, 10+years, and should be endorsed by the host nation's Permanent Representative to the WMO, typically the head of the national government's weather services. This is not a requirement but participation in BSRN is considered a national contribution to the international weather/climate scientific community and it helps to get this involvement of the national government. The site should be located in an area where the surface radiation measurements will be representative of the surrounding region (about 10 to 20 km radius or more) and not be influenced by local sources of pollution or other changing local anthropogenic factors, urbanization for example.

The sites must follow the radiation measurement specifications given in the BSRN Operations Manual version 2.1, available at: WCRP21_TD1274_BSRN. The measurement site should be attended frequently, daily or at least a few times a week, to clean instrumentation and assure proper operation of instrumentation and associated systems.

A reliable accurate solar tracker is required for direct solar and shaded diffuse solar measurements and to shade the pyrgeometer dome. This, along with requirements for forced ventilation of some instruments typically means that the site has to have reliable AC electrical power. There should be an nearby routine (national weather service or equivalent) upper-air balloon sounding facility from which the daily or twice daily data can be included in the data submitted to the BSRN archive. A radiation measurement expert must be identified as the responsible site scientist who takes professional responsibility of the quality of the data produced and sent to BSRN. It is also expected that this person will participate in international BSRN meetings and activities, both contributing their talents and capabilities to BSRN projects and for the purpose of further education and sharing of information of common interest to BSRN participants.

The radiation measurements are expected to traceable to international calibration reference standards endorsed by the BSRN and WMO and currently maintained at the World Radiation Center in Davos, Switzerland. Currently, there is a rather involved procedure for preparing and formatting for data to be supplied to the archive. Typically, it takes several attempts to transmit the data to the archive before a new site is successful. It is expected that the field sites will successfully submit to the archive before being recognized and fully participating BSRN site. A document with details as how this is done is available through a web link on the BSRN web site under "Publications" by Hegner et al. The way the BSRN archive operates is being reviewed and there may be a future revision in the data submission procedures and other archive functions but candidate sites should be prepared to follow the current data submission procedures.

Before becoming a candidate BSRN field site, application must be made to the BSRN organization, which can be done through me or other current BSRN participants. This application is informal but will be considered by the BSRN administration and eventually by the body of BSRN site scientists at our biennial meeting. If the application is accepted, the site may be designated as a Candidate BSRN site. Official full BSRN site status is achieved after becoming a Candidate site and then after successfully providing fully qualified data to the archive. To make application for candidate status, please provide relevant information about the proposed site including, recent history of the site, organization operating/proposing the site, potential for long-term operation (note that there are no funds provided by WCRP/BSRN for any aspect of this activity and the operator of the site(s) it fully responsible for all funding), description of the surround region surface characteristics and climatology (10 to 20 km radius of the site), any special interests or activities at or planned for the site, the name and qualifications of potential site scientist for the site, anything else that you might think of that is relevant as to why this site would be a good BSRN site. In reality, the review of the site is not extremely critical, but the information provided is useful to determine how aggressive the BSRN might be in trying to further encourage participation. A major thrust of the BSRN efforts is to fill in missing climatological and surface-type regimes on the global scale. Remote and oceanic BSRN sites are currently being actively sought. (Advice by Ells Dutton, 2008-03-04)

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