EGU24-19307, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Four decades of cryosphere albedo from spaceborne observations - assessment with field data

Jason Box1, Rasmus Bahbah1, Andreas Ahlstrøm1, Adrien Wehrlé2, Alexander Kokhanovsky3, Ghislain Picard4, and Laurent Arnaud4
Jason Box et al.
  • 1Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, Denmark (
  • 2University of Zurich
  • 3GFZ, Potsdam, Germany
  • 4IGE, Grenoble, France

Snow and ice albedo plays a fundamental role in climate change amplification. Its importance is by modulating absorbed sunlight; the largest average melt energy source. Further, the presence or lack of light absorbing impurities including living matter and meltwater effects can strongly influence snow and ice heating rates. Through multiple consecutive satellite missions, cryosphere albedo has been mapped globally and continuously for more than four decades now.
This work examines a 42 year record of cryosphere albedo by joining the satellite climate records of snow and ice albedo from AVHRR 1982 to present, NASA MODIS 1999 to present, and EU Copernicus Sentinel-3 2017 to present. The long-term stability of the climate records is examined using independent field data from Greenland and Antarctica. Additionally, the work presents long term trends in snow and ice albedo in relation to the competing effects of surface melting, snowfall and rainfall.

How to cite: Box, J., Bahbah, R., Ahlstrøm, A., Wehrlé, A., Kokhanovsky, A., Picard, G., and Arnaud, L.: Four decades of cryosphere albedo from spaceborne observations - assessment with field data, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19307,, 2024.