Building global and diffuse solar radiation series and assessing decadal trends in Girona (NE Iberian Peninsula)

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Measurement of solar radiation was initiated in Girona, northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, in the late 1980s. Initially, two pyranometers were installed, one of them equipped with a shadowband for measuring the diffuse component. Two other pyranometers currently exist, both ventilated and one of them shadowed, with a sphere, and a pyrheliometer for measuring direct radiation. Additional instruments for other shortwave and longwave components, clouds, and atmospheric aerosols have been installed in recent years. The station is subject to daily inspection, data are saved at high temporal resolution, and instruments are periodically calibrated, all in accordance with the directions of the Baseline Surface Radiation Network. The present paper describes how the entire series of global solar radiation (1987–2014) and diffuse radiation (1994–2014) were built, including the quality control process. Appropriate corrections to the diffuse component were made when a shadowband was employed to make measurements. Analysis of the series reveals that annual mean global irradiance presents a statistically significant increase of 2.5 W m−2 (1.4 %) decade−1 (1988–2014 period), mainly due to what occurs in summer (5.6 W m−2 decade−1). These results constitute the first assessment of solar radiation trends for the northeastern region of the Iberian Peninsula and are consistent with trends observed in the regional surroundings and also by satellite platforms, in agreement with the global brightening phenomenon. Diffuse radiation has decreased at −1.3 W m−2 (−2 %) decade−1 (1994–2014 period), which is a further indication of the reduced cloudiness and/or aerosol load causing the changes ​
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