On the temporal variability of the surface solar radiation by means of spectral representations
- 1MINES ParisTech, PSL Research University, Centre for Observation, Impacts, Energy CS 10207, 06904 Sophia Antipolis CEDEX, France
- *These authors contributed equally to this work.
Abstract. This work deals with the temporal variability of daily means of the global broadband surface solar irradiance (SSI) impinging on a horizontal plane by studying a decennial time-series of high-quality measurements recorded at a BSRN ground station. Since the data have a non-linear and non-stationary character, two time-frequency-energy representations of signal processing are compared in their ability to resolve the temporal variability of the pyranometric signal. First, the continuous wavelet transform is used to construct the wavelet power spectrum of the data. Second, the adaptive, noise-assisted empirical mode decomposition is employed to extract the intrinsic mode functions of the signal, followed by Hilbert spectral analysis. In both spectral representations, the temporal variability of the SSI is portrayed having clearly distinguishable features: a plateau between scales of two days and two-three months that has decreasing power with increasing scale, a large spectral peak corresponding to the annual variability cycle, and a low power regime in between the previous two. It is shown that the data-driven, noise-assisted method yields a somewhat more sparse representation and that it is a suitable tool for inspecting the temporal variability of SSI measurements.