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Title: Areal-averaged and Spectrally-resolved Surface Albedo from Ground-based Transmission Data Alone: Toward an Operational Retrieval

We present here a simple retrieval of the areal-averaged and spectrally resolved surface albedo using only ground-based measurements of atmospheric transmission under fully overcast conditions. Our retrieval is based on a one-line equation and widely accepted assumptions regarding the weak spectral dependence of cloud optical properties in the visible and near-infrared spectral range. The feasibility of our approach for the routine determinations of albedo is demonstrated for different landscapes with various degrees of heterogeneity using three sets of measurements:(1) spectrally resolved atmospheric transmission from Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR) at wavelength 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 long (2008-2013) and short (April-May, 2010) periods at the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site and the NOAA Table Mountain site, respectively. The calculated root mean square error (RMSE), which is defined here as the root mean squared difference between the MODIS-derived surface albedo and the retrieved area-averaged albedo, is quite small (RMSE≤0.01) and comparable with that obtained previously by other investigatorsmore » for the shortwave broadband albedo. Good agreement between the tower-based daily averages of surface albedo for the completely overcast and non-overcast conditions is also demonstrated. This agreement suggests that our retrieval originally developed for the overcast conditions likely will work for non-overcast conditions as well.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Atmosphere, 5(3):597-621
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
spectrally-resolved; surface albedo; ground-based transmission