Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN)

G-Rad Group Provides Management Oversight for BSRN

In 1988, the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) promoted the implementation of the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN), which is designed to provide frequent, state-of-the-art measurements of surface radiation fluxes according to internationally agreed standard operational and instrument calibration procedures. These measurements are needed to assess theoretical treatments of radiative transfer in the atmosphere, to verify climate model computations, and for monitoring regional trends in surface radiation. These activities are important in assessing potential modification of the Earth's radiation budget as the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and aerosol loadings changes. The BSRN stations are currently organized to fulfill the goals of the WCRP, which are to

  1. monitor long-term variability in radiation fluxes at the surface;
  2. provide data for validating satellite-based estimates of the surface radiation budget;
  3. provide consistency-check data for general circulation models, and
  4. validate radiation transfer model calculations.
The BSRN now consists of numerous sites throughout the world, representing a diverse geographical coverage with many different climatic zones.

For almost two decades Dr. Ellsworth Dutton served as Project Manager for the BSRN starting in 1995. The position is currently held by Dr. Charles N. Long. The G-Rad group operates several BSRN sites, which are located at Barrow, Alaska; Bermuda; Erie, Colorado; Kwajalein, Marshall Islands; and South Pole, Antarctica and the sites of the SURFRAD network.

Further information about the BSRN program, including meetings, publications, members and contact information, how to obtain the data from the archive in Switzerland, etc., can be found at