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.
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