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Houldcroft, CJ, Grey, WMF, Barnsley, M, Taylor, CM, Los, SO, North, PRJ (2009). New Vegetation Albedo Parameters and Global Fields of Soil Background Albedo Derived from MODIS for Use in a Climate Model. JOURNAL OF HYDROMETEOROLOGY, 10(1), 183-198.

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

DOI:
10.1175/2008JHM1021.1

ISSN:
1525-755X

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