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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2016-38
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
17 Oct 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG).
On the intrinsic time-scales of temporal variability in measurements of the surface solar radiation
Marc Bengulescu, Philippe Blanc, and Lucien Wald MINES ParisTech, PSL Research University, Centre for Observation, Impacts, Energy CS 10207 - 06904 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Abstract. This study is concerned with the intrinsic temporal scales of the variability of the surface solar irradiance (SSI). The data consist of decennial time-series of daily means of the SSI spanning ten years, obtained from high quality measure- ments of the broadband solar radiation impinging on a horizontal plane at ground level, issued from different Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) ground stations around the world. First, embedded oscillations roughly sorted by ranges of in- creasing time-scales of the data are extracted by empirical mode decomposition. Next, Hilbert spectral analysis is applied to obtain an amplitude modulation–frequency-modulation (AM–FM) representation of the data. The time-varying nature of the characteristic time-scales of variability, along with the variations of the signal intensity, are thus revealed. A novel, adaptive null-hypothesis based on the general statistical characteristics of noise is employed, in order to discriminate between the different features of the data, those that have a deterministic origin and those being realisations of various stochastic processes. The data has a significant spectral peak corresponding to the yearly variability cycle and features quasi-stochastic high-frequency "weather noise", irrespective of the geographical location or of the local climate. Moreover, the amplitude of this latter feature is shown to be modulated by variations of the yearly cycle, indicative of non-linear multiplicative cross-scale couplings. The study has possible implications on the modelling and the forecast of the surface solar radiation, by clearly discriminating the deterministic from the quasi-stochastic character of the data, at different local time-scales.

Citation: Bengulescu, M., Blanc, P., and Wald, L.: On the intrinsic time-scales of temporal variability in measurements of the surface solar radiation, Nonlin. Processes Geophys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2016-38, in review, 2016.
Marc Bengulescu et al.
Marc Bengulescu et al.

Data sets

BSRN snapshot 2015-09, links to zip archives
G. König-Langlo, A. Driemel, B. Raffel, and R. Sieger
https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.852720
Marc Bengulescu et al.

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Short summary
We employ the Hilbert-Huang transform to study the temporal variability in time-series of daily means of the surface solar irradiance (SSI), at different locations around the world. The data has a significant spectral peak corresponding to the yearly variability cycle and features quasi-stochastic high-frequency "weather noise", irrespective of the geographical location or of the local climate. Our findings can improve models for estimating SSI from satellite images or forecasts of the SSI.
We employ the Hilbert-Huang transform to study the temporal variability in time-series of daily...
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