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Title: The effects of sea-ice and land-snow concentrations on planetary albedo from the earth radiation budget experiment
Authors: Gorodetskaya, Irina V ×
Came, MA
Tremblay, LB
Kaplan, A #
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Series Title: Atmosphere-Oocean vol:44 issue:2 pages:195-205
Abstract: The high-latitude ice/snow-albedo feedback is a principal element in many paleoclimate theories and
global warming scenarios. The strength of this feedback is determined by the ice/snow effects on the top-of-atmosphere
(TOA) albedo, which is also strongly affected by clouds. Using currently available satellite observations,
we estimate the radiative effectiveness (RE) of ice and snow with regards to the TOA albedo, which we define as
the change in the TOA albedo corresponding to changes of 0% to 100% in the ice or snow cover. The REs of the
northern hemisphere (NH) sea ice, land snow, and southern hemisphere (SH) sea ice are found to be 0.22, 0.23
and 0.16, respectively. This means that, for an incident solar flux of about 400 W m–2 reaching the TOA in the
polar latitudes in summer, local reduction in ice/snow concentrations from 100% to 0% will result in a decrease
in reflected short wave radiation of approximately 80 W m–2. These changes in the TOA albedo are significant, yet
smaller than the associated changes in the surface albedo. Comparison of the TOA albedo values with available surface
albedo observations helps to identify the role of clouds in the RE of ice/snow. The analysis is based on the whole
time-space domain where the sea ice and land snow appear, and reveals a remarkable similarity in the ice and snow
RE in the areas with high sea-ice and land-snow cover variability, despite the varying nature of the surface cover, seasonality, and locations. These estimates provide a useful constraint to test current climate models
ISSN: 0705-5900
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Non-KU Leuven Association publications
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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