Climate change results from a less than 1% imbalance between incoming solar energy and energy reflected or re-radiated back into space. Measurements of spectra spanning both shortwave and longwave radiation at the top-of-atmosphere can provide insight into the processes that are changing at the Earth’s surface and within its atmosphere as a result of climate change, so we have used climate model outputs to simulate these spectra on monthly time-scales for centennial-length integrations. The Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) framework for performing these simulations shows the spectral features that become statistically-significant with business-as-usual emissions, with such signals emerging from data records of only a few years’ in length. These results help guide the development of new-class of space-based absolutely-calibrated hyperspectral measurements, including the CLimate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) for monitoring the Earth’s climate system.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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