QA4ECV Albedo

Produced by: UCL (Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL)), Brockmann Consult and UCL (Geography)


Knowledge of albedo is of critical importance to land surface monitoring and modelling, particularly with regard to considerations of climate forecasting and energy exchanges within the biosphere. When albedo is used in models, it has often been specified as a fixed number for some given land cover type. However, many years of monitoring from single instruments, such as MODIS, have shown that it can vary significantly both spatially and temporally. That said, being an angular and spectral integral, it is relatively conservative inter-annually, other than due to factors such as snow and possibly fire and dramatic land cover change (e.g. flooding, urbanisation). As particularly high changes in albedo occur due to the presence of absence of snow, modellers tend to consider these two cases separately: a snow free albedo and one with snow included.

Global albedo data of the land surface is produced from data from 1982-2016 from European and US satellites daily and monthly with estimated uncertainties for every pixel. There are 3 data products including: 1) AVHRR+GEO Broadband Albedo at 0.5 and 0.05 degrees; 2) Spectral Albedo at 1km; and 3) Sea Ice Spectral Albedo at 1km.


Documents Data Access Traceability Chain Albedo ECV Forum

By clicking on Documents, you will find the ATBD, Product User Guide and Uncertainty and Validation.
By clicking on Albedo ECV Forum, you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions as well as somewhere where you can report your experiences and questions with these data.
By clicking on Data Access, you will find browse animations and still images, data access by tiles, global mosaics and/or subsetting by point, area or Google mashup location.
By clicking on Traceability Chain, you will find specific information on how the albedo ECV is retrieved.