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Surface albedo climatologies

European Space Agency

page last modified:
19 February 2019

Knowledge of the surface albedo is important for the retrieval of atmospheric trace gases, aerosols, and clouds from satellite data. We have created spectral surface albedo databases (more precisely: Lambertian-equivalent reflectivity, LER, databases) at several wavelengths from UV-VIS-NIR and SWIR spectrometers GOME-1 on ERS-2, SCIAMACHY on Envisat, OMI on EOS-Aura, and GOME-2 on MetOp-A and MetOp-B. These surface LER databases are gridded climatological data sets, per month of the year, holding for the period indicated per data set.

The advantages of using the surface LER from the same satellite instrument as for which the retrievals are being performed are that remaining calibration errors are accounted for, and that surface BRDF effects are included to first order.

The following surface albedo climatologies are available:

All of the above surface albedo databases are discussed extensively and compared to each another in the following paper:

L.G. Tilstra, O.N.E. Tuinder, P. Wang, and P. Stammes, Surface reflectivity climatologies from UV to NIR determined from Earth observations by GOME-2 and SCIAMACHY, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 122, 4084-4111, doi:10.1002/2016JD025940, 2017 (PDF)