Changes in Earth’s Albedo Measured by Satellite

The core information for this publication's citation.: 
Wielicki, B., T. Wong, N. Loeb, P. Minnis, K. J. Priestley, and R. Kandel (2005), Changes in Earth’s Albedo Measured by Satellite, Science, 308, 825, doi:10.1126/science.1106484.

The albedo of Earth, i.e., the fraction of the global incident solar radiation that is reflected back to space, is a fundamental parameter of global energy balance. Using earthshine data, recent report claims to have detected a large increase in albedo, although not over the entire solar spectrum from 0.3- to 4-µm wavelength. The earthshine results are primarily for visible wavelengths and represent about half of Earth's surface. The global CERES observations show a small decrease of about 2 W m-2 in shortwave reflected flux, equal to an albedo decrease of 0.006. These results stand in stark contrast to thearthshine results, which show a large increase of 6 W m-2 or an albedo increase of 0.017.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)