The foundation for CLARREO is the ability to produce highly accurate and trusted climate records. Measurements derived from CLARREO will be used to detect climate trends and to test, validate, and improve climate prediction models. The CLARREO mission will provide accurate, credible, and tested climate records that lay the groundwork for informed decisions on mitigation and adaptation policies that address the effects of climate change on society.
Decisions to address a wide range of societal concerns rely on accurate climate records credible long-term outlooks. A vital element in climate monitoring and assessment is the amount of radiation entering and leaving the Earth system. The CLARREO mission will measure incoming and outgoing radiation using independent, well-established methods as part of a single mission. The result will be a benchmark record of global climate consistent with international standards. Because human-induced climate change is expected to produce a recognizable signature of radiative effects by wavelength, the data will also help to verify the quality of global climate models.
CLARREO will employ interferometers to measure two key parts of the radiation budget: infrared radiation emitted from Earth's surface and atmosphere, and solar radiation reflected emitted from the Earth system to space in near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths. The mission will also include a receiver to intercept and analyze signals from the Global Positioning System (GPS) after they pass through Earth's atmosphere along the horizon (a technique known as radio occultation). The delay induced in these signals by atmospheric refraction can yield on pressure, temperature, and water vapor.