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Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 597-621; doi:10.3390/atmos5030597

Areal-Averaged Spectral Surface Albedo from Ground-Based Transmission Data Alone: Toward an Operational Retrieval

1
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA
2
NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
3
University of Colorado/CIRES, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 June 2014 / Revised: 12 August 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
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Abstract

We present here a simple retrieval of the areal-averaged spectral surface albedo using only ground-based measurements of atmospheric transmission under fully overcast conditions. Our retrieval is based on a one-line equation. The feasibility of our retrieval for routine determinations of albedo is demonstrated for different landscapes with various degrees of heterogeneity using three sets of measurements: (1) spectral atmospheric transmission from the Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR) at five wavelengths (415, 500, 615, 673, and 870 nm); (2) tower-based measurements of local surface albedo at the same wavelengths; and (3) areal-averaged surface albedo at four wavelengths (470, 560, 670 and 860 nm) from collocated and coincident Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observations. These integrated datasets cover both temporally long (2008–2013) and short (April–May 2010) periods at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains site and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Table Mountain site, respectively. The calculated root mean square error (RMSE), defined here as the root mean squared difference between the MODIS-derived surface albedo and the retrieved areal-averaged albedo, is quite small (RMSE ≤ 0.015) and comparable with that obtained previously by other investigators for the shortwave broadband albedo. Good agreement between tower-based measurements of daily-averaged surface albedo for completely overcast and non-overcast conditions is also demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR); tower-based measurements; Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observations; atmospheric transmission; areal-averaged and local surface albedo; spectral and seasonal variability; ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site; NOAA Table Mountain site Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR); tower-based measurements; Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observations; atmospheric transmission; areal-averaged and local surface albedo; spectral and seasonal variability; ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site; NOAA Table Mountain site
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kassianov, E.; Barnard, J.; Flynn, C.; Riihimaki, L.; Michalsky, J.; Hodges, G. Areal-Averaged Spectral Surface Albedo from Ground-Based Transmission Data Alone: Toward an Operational Retrieval. Atmosphere 2014, 5, 597-621.

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