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Causes for decadal trends in surface solar radiation in the Alpine region in the 1981-2020 period
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  • Lucas Ferreira Correa,
  • Doris Folini,
  • Boriana Chtirkova,
  • Martin Wild
Lucas Ferreira Correa
ETH Zurich

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Doris Folini
ETH Zurich, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science
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Boriana Chtirkova
ETH Zürich
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Martin Wild
ETH Zürich
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Extending across seven countries, the Alps represent an important element for climate and atmospheric circulation in Central Europe. Its complex topography affects processes on different scales within the atmospheric system. This is of major relevance for the decadal trends in surface solar radiation (SSR), also known as global dimming and brightening (GDB). In this study we analysed data from 38 stations in and around the Swiss and Austrian Alps, over a period ranging from the 1980s up to the 2020s, with the aim of characterizing the spatio-temporal variations of the GDB and understanding the causes for such trends in this region. Our results show a different behavior in the SSR decadal trends in the western part of the Alps in comparison to the eastern part. Our results also suggest a remarkable difference between the causes of such trends at the stations at low altitudes in comparison to the stations at higher altitudes. Significant contribution from cloud optical depth and surface albedo to the SSR decadal trends at high elevation sites were found, in contrast to a strong clear-sky forcing that dominates at low elevations. Results from previous literature and available data suggest that cloud optical depth changes at high altitudes and clear-sky forcing at low altitudes could be associated with the indirect and direct aerosol effects, respectively, due to differing pollution levels at low and high elevation sites.
20 Sep 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
30 Sep 2023Published in ESS Open Archive