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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(12), 16150-16163; doi:10.3390/rs71215816

Estimation of the Land Surface Albedo Changes in the Broader Mediterranean Area, Based on 12 Years of Satellite Observations

Foundation for Research and Technology–Hellas, Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics, N. Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton, 70013 Heraklion, Greece
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Academic Editors: Dongdong Wang, Parth Sarathi Roy and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 15 September 2015 / Revised: 17 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
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Abstract

The Land Surface Albedo (LSA) was estimated in the broader Mediterranean area, on an 8-day basis, for the period 2001–2012. MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) albedo product parameters, at 1 km × 1 km spatial resolution, were used. LSA changes during the above study period were also estimated, based on annual average values. Results revealed increasing LSA trends dominating in the Levant region and decreasing in NW Africa, of the order of 3.3% and −6.6%, respectively, while mixed signs were observed in southern Europe. Three factors that can determine the LSA changes were investigated: land cover changes, rainfall changes and Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) spatio-temporal variability. The analysis made clear that land cover and rainfall changes affect LSA at local and regional scales, while the effect of AOT was not important. Land cover changes revealed deforestation hot spots, where LSA was increased by 13%–14%, while an increase in rainfall over many areas in NW Africa appears to have caused a corresponding decrease in LSA by over 5%. These findings highlight the importance of a global and continuous LSA monitoring at both regional and local scales, which is necessary for both climate monitoring and modeling studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: land surface albedo; MODIS; land cover; rainfall; aerosol optical thickness; trends land surface albedo; MODIS; land cover; rainfall; aerosol optical thickness; trends
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Benas, N.; Chrysoulakis, N. Estimation of the Land Surface Albedo Changes in the Broader Mediterranean Area, Based on 12 Years of Satellite Observations. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 16150-16163.

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