Mapping Global Snow Albedo

Currently, no remotely sensed product provides accurate maps of snow albedo. However, a MODIS global snow albedo product is under development (D. Hall, personal communication). This albedo product is based on a conversion scheme developed by Nolin and Stroeve (1997), where a discrete-ordinates radiative transfer model is used to compute the coefficients for converting measured satellite-derived reflectances to surface albedo. MODIS has excellent radiometric calibration and will provide snow albedo estimates to within ±0.02. Prior to the snow albedo product release, another standard MODIS product will be available that will provide estimates of land surface albedo, including snow covered regions (Wanner et al., 1997). This land surface albedo product includes vegetation and soil albedos and, though the snow albedo part of this product is still simplistic, such a product could be useful for input to climate simulations.

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