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Open AccessArticle

An Investigation of Ice Surface Albedo and Its Influence on the High-Altitude Lakes of the Tibetan Plateau

by Jiahe Lang 1,2, Shihua Lyu 3,4, Zhaoguo Li 1,*, Yaoming Ma 2,5,6 and Dongsheng Su 1,2
Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu 610225, China
Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 218;
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryospheric Remote Sensing II)
Most high-altitude lakes are more sensitive to global warming than the regional atmosphere. However, most existing climate models produce unrealistic surface temperatures on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) lakes, and few studies have focused on the influence of ice surface albedo on high-altitude lakes. Based on field albedo measurements, moderate resolution imaging spectrometer (MODIS) albedo products and numerical simulation, this study evaluates the ice albedo parameterization schemes in existing lake models and investigates the characteristics of the ice surface albedo in six typical TP lakes, as well as the influence of ice albedo error in the FLake model. Compared with observations, several ice albedo schemes all clearly overestimate the lake ice albedo by 0.26 to 0.66, while the average bias of MODIS albedo products is only 0.07. The MODIS-observed albedo of a snow-covered lake varies with the snow proportion, and the lake surface albedo in a snow-free state is approximately 0.15 during the frozen period. The MODIS-observed ice surface (snow-free) albedos are concentrated within the ranges of 0.14–0.16, 0.08–0.10 and 0.10–0.12 in Aksai Chin Lake, Nam Co Lake and Ngoring Lake, respectively. The simulated lake surface temperature is sensitive to variations in lake ice albedo especially in the spring and winter. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface albedo; snow and ice; MODIS; lake model; parameterization scheme surface albedo; snow and ice; MODIS; lake model; parameterization scheme
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lang, J.; Lyu, S.; Li, Z.; Ma, Y.; Su, D. An Investigation of Ice Surface Albedo and Its Influence on the High-Altitude Lakes of the Tibetan Plateau. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 218.

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