Greenland, Canadian and Icelandic land-ice albedo grids (2000–2016)

Authors

  • Jason E. Box Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
  • Dirk van As Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
  • Konrad Steffen Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.34194/geusb.v38.4414

Abstract

Albedo, Latin for ‘whiteness’, is a term used to describe the amount of sunlight reflected by the ground. Fresh snow albedo can exceed 85%, making it among the most reflective natural substances. Warm conditions promote snow crystal metamorphosis that, like the presence of liquid water, bring snow albedo down below 65%. With the darkening, caused by the metamorphosis, absorbed solar energy thus increases by roughly a factor of two. Seasonal snow melts over the lower reaches of a glacier leading to the exposure of bare ice with albedo below 55%. Impurities such as dust, black carbon or microbes can bring glacier-ice albedo below 30%, meaning that snow ablation gives way to impurity-rich, bare glacier ice which increases absorbed sunlight by more than a factor of three.

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Published

2017-07-31

How to Cite

Box, J. E., van As, D., & Steffen, K. . (2017). Greenland, Canadian and Icelandic land-ice albedo grids (2000–2016). GEUS Bulletin, 38, 53–56. https://doi.org/10.34194/geusb.v38.4414

Issue

Section

RESEARCH ARTICLE | SHORT

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