Data quality assessment and the long-term trend of ground solar radiation in China

Guang Yu Shi, Tadahiro Hayasaka, Atsumo Ohmura, Zhi Hua Chen, Biao Wang, Jian Qi Zhao, Hui Zheng Che, Li Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Citations (Scopus)


Solar radiation is one of the most important factors affecting climate and the environment. Routine measurements of irradiance are valuable for climate change research because of long time series and areal coverage. In this study, a set of quality assessment (QA) algorithms is used to test the quality of daily solar global, direct, and diffuse radiation measurements taken at 122 observatories in China during 1957-2000. The QA algorithms include a physical threshold test (QA1), a global radiation sunshine duration test (QA2), and a standard deviation test applied to time series of annually averaged solar global radiation (QA3). The results show that the percentages of global, direct, and diffuse solar radiation data that fail to pass QA1 are 3.07%, 0.01%, and 2.52%, respectively; the percentages of global solar radiation data that fail to pass the QA2 and QA3 are 0.77% and 0.49%, respectively. The method implemented by the Global Energy Balance Archive is also applied to check the data quality of solar radiation in China. Of the 84 stations with a time series longer that 20 yr, suspect data at 35 of the sites were found. Based on data that passed the QA tests, trends in ground solar radiation and the effect of the data quality assessment on the trends are analyzed. There is a decrease in ground solar global and direct radiation in China over the years under study. Although the quality assessment process has significant effects on the data from individual stations and/or time periods, it does not affect the long-term trends in the data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1016
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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