Estimating Arctic Sea-Ice Shortwave Albedo

Authored by: Ying Qu

Atmosphere and Climate

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138339675
eBook ISBN: 9780429440984
Adobe ISBN:


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Arctic sea-ice shortwave albedo is one of the critical parameters for characterizing the surface radiation and energy budget over the Northern Hemispheric cryosphere. In the past decades, the shortwave albedo of Arctic sea ice showed a significant decreasing trend. A decrease in Arctic sea-ice albedo led to an increase in solar heat input to the melt ocean water, and further enhanced the heating effects of the Arctic zone by the sea-ice albedo feedback mechanism. Thus, it is very important to monitor the spatial and temporal variations of Arctic sea-ice albedo from satellite observations under the context of global climate change. For this purpose, a variety of surface albedo datasets were generated from different polar-orbit and geostationary satellite platforms. This chapter discusses the current available Arctic sea-ice albedo datasets and a recently proposed direct-estimation algorithm for generating Arctic sea-ice shortwave albedo product. The comparison and validation results show that the Arctic sea-ice shortwave albedo derived by the direct-estimation algorithm are more accurate than those estimated based on Lambertian assumption, and can be applied for generating long-term Arctic sea-ice albedo datasets with high spatial and temporal resolution.

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