We present the first comparison between new fAPAR and LAI products derived from the GlobAlbedo dataset and the widely-used MODIS fAPAR and LAI products. The GlobAlbedo-derived products are produced using a 1D two-stream radiative transfer (RT) scheme designed explicitly for global parameter retrieval from albedo, with consistency between RT model assumptions and observations, as well as with typical large-scale land surface model RT schemes. The approach does not require biome-specific structural assumptions (e.g., cover, clumping, understory), unlike more detailed 3D RT model approaches. GlobAlbedo-derived values of fAPAR and LAI are compared with MODIS values over 2002–2011 at multiple flux tower sites within selected biomes, over 1200 × 1200 km regions and globally. GlobAlbedo-derived fAPAR and LAI values are temporally more stable than the MODIS values due to the smoothness of the underlying albedo, derived via optimal estimation (assimilation) using an a priori estimate of albedo derived from an albedo “climatology” (composited multi-year albedo observations). Parameters agree closely in timing but with GlobAlbedo values consistently lower than MODIS, particularly for LAI. Larger differences occur in winter (when values are lower) and in the Southern hemisphere. Globally, we find that: GlobAlbedo-derived fAPAR is ~0.9–1.01 × MODIS fAPAR with an intercept of ~0.03; GlobAlbedo-derived LAI is ~0.6 × MODIS LAI with an intercept of ~0.2. Differences arise due to the RT model assumptions underlying the products, meaning care is required in interpreting either set of values, particularly when comparing to fine-scale ground-based estimates. We present global transformations between GlobAlbedo-derived and MODIS products.
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