IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

3.4.4 Radiation

Measuring the radiation balance accurately is fundamental in quantifying the radiative forcing of the system as well as diagnosing the radiative properties of the atmosphere and surface, which are crucial for understanding radiative feedback processes. At the top of the atmosphere, satellites provide excellent spatial coverage but poorer temporal sampling. The reverse is true at the surface with only a limited number of high-quality point measurements but with excellent temporal coverage.