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Original Research Papers

22 views of the global albedo—comparison between 20 GCMs and two satellites

Authors:

Frida A-M. Bender ,

Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, SE
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Henning Rodhe,

Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, SE
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Robert J. Charlson,

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, US
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Annica M. L. Ekman,

Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, SE
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Norman Loeb

Department of Atmospheric Science, Hampton University, Hampton, US
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Abstract

A comprehensive comparison of characteristics of the planetary albedo (α) in data from two satellite measurement campaigns (ERBE and CERES) and output from 20 GCMs, simulating the 20th-century climate, is performed. Discrepancies between different data sets and models exist; thus, it is clear that conclusions about absolute magnitude and accuracy of albedo should be drawn with caution. Yet, given the present calibrations, a bias is found between different estimates of α, with modelled global albedos being systematically higher than the observed. The difference between models and observations is larger for the more recent CERES measurements than the older ERBE measurements. Through the study of seasonal anomalies and space and time distribution of correaltions between models and observations, specific regions with large discrepancies can be identified. It is hereby found that models appear to over-estimate the albedo during boreal summer and under-estimate it during austral summer. Furthermore, the seasonal variations of albedo in subtropical areas dominated by low stratiform clouds, as well as in dry desert regions in the subtropics, seem to be poorly simulated by the models.

How to Cite: Bender, F.A.-M., Rodhe, H., Charlson, R.J., Ekman, A.M.L. and Loeb, N., 2006. 22 views of the global albedo—comparison between 20 GCMs and two satellites. Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 58(3), pp.320–330. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2006.00181.x
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  Published on 01 Jan 2006
 Accepted on 17 Jan 2006            Submitted on 13 Oct 2005

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