EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Quantifying land-surface albedo feedback using Dansgaard-Oeschger events

Mengmeng Liu1, Iain Colin Prentice1, and Sandy P. Harrison2
Mengmeng Liu et al.
  • 1Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Buckhurst Road, Ascot SL5 7PY, UK
  • 2Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK

Land-surface shortwave albedo is an important quantity in the energy budget of the Earth. Remotely sensed snow cover, maximum tree height and maximum fractional absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR) explain 87% of the variation in present-day annual mean land surface albedo (weighted by the seasonal cycle of shortwave radiation) in a generalized linear model. We can therefore apply this model during Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) warming events during the last glacial period. We have already used these repeated, rapid (50–200 year), near-global climate-change events to provide new quantifications of Earth system feedbacks involving atmospheric CO2, CH4 and N2O. We now reconstruct maximum tree height and maximum fAPAR based on a new global compilation of pollen data covering the relevant time interval, combined with snow cover changes during simulated D-O events, in order to reconstruct global changes in radiative forcing due to changes in vegetation and snow cover – and thereby quantify the global land-surface albedo feedback.

How to cite: Liu, M., Prentice, I. C., and Harrison, S. P.: Quantifying land-surface albedo feedback using Dansgaard-Oeschger events, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1292,, 2022.


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