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Snow cover and vegetation-induced decrease in global albedo from 2002 to 2016

Li, Q., Ma, M., Wu, X. and Yang, H. (2018) Snow cover and vegetation-induced decrease in global albedo from 2002 to 2016. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123 (1). pp. 124-138. ISSN 2169-8996

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2017jd027010


Land surface albedo is an essential parameter in regional and global climate models, and it is markedly influenced by land cover change. Variations in the albedo can affect the surface radiation budget and further impact the global climate. In this study, the interannual variation of albedo from 2002 to 2016 was estimated on the global scale using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) datasets. The presence and causes of the albedo changes for each specific region were also explored. From 2002 to 2016, the MODIS-based albedo decreased globally, snow cover declined by 0.970 (percent per pixel), while the seasonally integrated normalized difference vegetation index increased by 0.175. Some obvious increases in the albedo were detected in Central Asia, northeastern China, parts of the boreal forest in Canada, and the temperate steppe in North America. In contrast, noticeable decreases in the albedo were found in the Siberian tundra, Europe, southeastern Australia, and northeastern regions of North America. In the Northern Hemisphere, the greening trend at high latitudes made more contribution to the decline in the albedo. However, the dramatic fluctuation of snow-cover at midlatitudes predominated in the change of albedo. Our analysis can help to understand the roles that vegetation and snow cover play in the variation of albedo on global and regional scales.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:75024
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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