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Other Names

Planetary albedo, symbol is Greek alpha character


A ratio of the radiation reflected by a surface to that incident on it.
Clouds are the chief cause of variations in the Earth's albedo since clouds have highly varying albedo, dependent upon thickness and composition. Old snow is about 55% (0.55), new snow around 80% (0.8). water surfaces vary from very low about 5% (0.05) at high sun elevation to at least 70%(0.70) at low sun angles.

GES DISC Datasets

Quick Search for 'Albedo' with Mirador
Click on the corresponding 'Data access' links in the table below to access products containing specific parameter.

Parameter Units Platform /Instrument Data Products
Begin Date End Date Data Access Doc
Albedo unitless NOAA/TOVS 1978-11-30 1995-07-05 NOAA/TOVS Y

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Last updated: May 02, 2013 12:15 PM ET