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On the Albedo of Snow in Antarctica: A Contribution to I.A.G.O.*

  • Gerd Wendler (a1) and John Kelley (a1)

Abstract

As part of a larger experiment, detailed albedo measurements were carried out during the austral summer of 1985-86 in the dry-snow zone (1560 m) of Terre Adélie, eastern Antarctica. The following results were found:

  • (1)Mean albedo values were high (around 82.6%). On clear days, the albedo showed some dependency on the solar elevation. The dependency was slight for solar elevations above 12° but became larger with low Sun angles.
  • (2)The albedo was found to be a function of cloud amount and type, increasing with the amount and thickness of clouds. In white-out conditions, very high albedos were found (>90%).
  • (3)The albedo showed a dependency on the type of snow. New snow displayed higher values than older snow, whose crystals had been destroyed by mechanical action.
  • (4)A simple model was developed to assess the influence of sastrugi on the albedo. This model could explain the asymmetric diurnal variation about solar noon of the measured albedo above a sastrugi field.

The above four dependencies might explain the considerable discrepancies which can be found in the literature concerning the snow albedo of Antarctica.

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Copyright

Footnotes

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page 19 note

Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-0800, U .S.A.

page 19 note *

Interaction A tmosphere-Glacier-ocean.

Footnotes

References

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On the Albedo of Snow in Antarctica: A Contribution to I.A.G.O.*

  • Gerd Wendler (a1) and John Kelley (a1)

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