More Sunshine in North America From 1982 – 2012

Well … technically they say 4.2% less clouds. But that does mean more sunshine (except at night).

The emergence of satellite-based cloud records of climate-length and quality hold tremendous potential for climate model development, climate monitoring, and studies on global water cycling and its subsequent energetics. This article examines the more than thirty-year PATMOS-x AVHRR cloudiness record over North America and assesses its suitability as a climate-quality data record. A loss of ~4.2% total cloudiness is observed between 1982 and 2012 over a North American domain centered over the contiguous United States.


As you know, land base sunshine monitoring is atrocious in North America. Once upon a time Canada had over 300 stations collecting sunshine data. How do we know whether major ups and downs in climate aren’t because of more or less clouds?


(h/t Hockey Schtick)


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