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Rutan, D, Rose, F, Roman, M, Manalo-Smith, N, Schaaf, C, Charlock, T (2009). Development and assessment of broadband surface albedo from Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System Clouds and Radiation Swath data product. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 114, D08125.

We describe a method to determine broadband albedo globally over land viewed by the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) scanning radiometers on board the TRMM, Terra, and Aqua satellites. This albedo is used as a surface boundary condition for a fast radiation transfer code in the Surface and Atmospheric Radiation Budget (SARB) subsystem of the CERES processing scheme. Cloudy sky surface albedo is estimated from derived clear sky values. Clear sky surface albedo is assessed by comparing the CERES/SARB-based surface albedo with the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF)-based surface albedo supplied by the MODIS land surfaces group. The SARB method employs broadband observations at the top of atmosphere (TOA) and assumes relative spectral shape of surface albedo. The MODIS group uses higher spatial resolution observations in several shortwave window channels to retrieve spectral surface albedos and then scales up to broadband surface albedo. Comparisons over snow-free land show good agreement between the two independent products on the scale of the CERES footprint. Biases run approximately 0.005 absolute or 0.02 relative with SARB albedo, generally lower than MODIS. We find little dependence on view geometry and slight functional dependence on aerosol optical depth. The value selected for a priori surface spectral albedo is important, but not critical, when retrieving broadband surface albedo with broadband TOA data. However, based on calculations, aerosol forcing to TOA flux changes in spectral albedo shape can affect aerosol forcing for as much as would a 15% absolute change in the original broadband surface albedo.



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