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New vegetation albedo parameters and global fields\ud of soil background albedo derived from MODIS for\ud use in a climate model

By Caroline J. Houldcroft, William M. F. Grey, Mike Barnsley, Christopher M. Taylor, Sietse O. Los and Peter R. J. North


New values are derived for snow-free albedo of six Plant Functional Types\ud (PFTs) and the soil/litter substrate from data acquired by the MODIS sensors on\ud board Terra and Aqua. The derived albedo values are used to provide and test an improved\ud specification of surface albedo for the land surface scheme known as JULES\ud that forms part of the HadGEM climate model. The International-Geosphere-Biosphere\ud Programme (IGBP) global land-cover map is used in combination with the MODIS\ud albedo to estimate albedo of each cover type in the IGBP classification scheme,\ud from which the albedo values of the JULES PFTs are computed. The albedo of the\ud soil/litter substrate, referred to as the soil background albedo, is derived for partially\ud vegetated regions using a method that separates the vegetation contribution to\ud the albedo signal from that of the soil/litter substrate. The global fields of soil background\ud albedo produced using this method exhibit more realistic spatial variations\ud than the soil albedo map usually employed in conjunction with the JULES model.\ud The revised total shortwave albedo values of the PFTs are up to 8% higher than\ud those in the existing HadGEM scheme. To evaluate the impact of these differences\ud upon surface albedo in the climate model, differences are computed globally between\ud mean monthly land-surface albedo, modelled using the existing and revised\ud albedo values, and MODIS data. Incorporating the revised albedo values into the\ud model reduces the global rmse for snow-free July land-surface albedo from 0.051\ud to 0.024, representing a marked improvement on the existing parameterization

Topics: Meteorology and Climatology, Hydrology
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1175/2008JHM1021.1
OAI identifier:
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