Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Geographically coherent patterns of albedo enhancement and suppression associated with aerosol sources and sinks
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
2015 (English)In: Tellus. Series B, Chemical and physical meteorology, ISSN 0280-6509, E-ISSN 1600-0889, Vol. 67, 1-9 p., 26442Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Earth's albedo is the primary determinant of the amount of energy absorbed by the Earth-atmosphere system. It is a function of the fractional cloud cover and the cloudy-and clear-sky albedos, and thereby of the aerosol loading of the atmosphere. Here, we introduce a method by which we can examine the spatial distribution of the albedo variability that is independent of variations in the two dominant factors of albedo: cloud fraction and liquid water path (LWP). The analysis is based on data simultaneously retrieved from the CERES and MODIS instruments carried on board the Aqua satellite. We analysed the daily overpass data between July 2002 and June 2014 and showed that perturbations in albedo, accounting for variations induced by cloud fraction and LWP, display a coherent geographical pattern. Positive deviations occur in proximity to known anthropogenic aerosol sources, and negative deviations coincide with areas of intense precipitation, acting as aerosol sinks. A simple multiplication of the observed positive perturbations in albedo with the solar flux of 340Wm(-2) yields a magnitude of that effect of several watts per square meter locally. While the location and scale of the geographical pattern might suggest an anthropogenic contribution to the positive albedo perturbations, it is imperative to first carefully examine all other possible causal factors behind the perturbations. Finally, although we have not attempted a full calculation of detection limits, the analysis is capable of sensing very small changes in average albedo of the order of 0.003 out of a total albedo of the order of 0.3. Hence, the applied method might find utilisation in a variety of situations where there is a need to quantify small perturbations of a dependent variable in noisy global data sets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 67, 1-9 p., 26442
Keyword [en]
albedo, cloud fraction, liquid water path, aerosol effects
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117413DOI: 10.3402/tellusb.v67.26442ISI: 000353638500001OAI: diva2:814239


Available from: 2015-05-26 Created: 2015-05-19 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Bender, Frida A. -M.
By organisation
Department of Meteorology
In the same journal
Tellus. Series B, Chemical and physical meteorology
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 108 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link