Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increasingly precise data on radiation reflected from the Arctic sea area

Date:
October 6, 2011
Source:
Finnish Meteorological Institute
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new, globally unique method for estimating surface albedo in the Arctic sea area solely on the basis of microwave data. Its advantage over conventional optical methods is that neither clouds nor darkness interfere with measurements.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute has developed a new, globally unique method for estimating surface albedo in the Arctic sea area solely on the basis of microwave data. Its advantage over conventional optical methods is that neither clouds nor darkness interfere with measurements.

Related Articles


The Finnish Meteorological Institute has developed a unique method for estimating surface albedo in the Arctic sea area. The method helps determine the amounts of solar radiation reflected from the Arctic sea area, information which is very important for climate change research. Albedo describes the ability of Earth's surface to reflect incoming radiation, and it is therefore associated with Earth's energy balance. Estimates of albedo affect the accuracy of model calculations pertaining to climate change, but they are also a good indicator of the change that has already taken place.

The surface albedo of Arctic regions is particularly important with respect to climate change, because changes in the extent of the ice cover in polar regions are crucial for albedo values. The albedo of the Arctic sea area is still relatively poorly known, but it has a major impact on climate model calculations. With global warming, the melting of sea ice reduces albedo values in the Arctic region. This means that more energy is absorbed in the region and more ice will melt. In other words, a decreasing albedo value will lead to climate feedback diminishing the albedo value further.

The world's only microwave-based method

When compared against the conventional optical method, the microwave-based method for estimating albedo has the advantage that neither cloudiness nor the low Sun angle in the Arctic region interfere with the measurements. For instance, it is possible to detect whether spring is coming unusually early; this is something that optical instruments do not necessarily reveal at that time of year.

Albedo indicates how much of the radiation reaching a body is reflected back. The whiter the reflecting surface is, the higher is its albedo. A black body does not reflect any incoming light, and so its albedo is zero. A planet's albedo is important in terms of thermal economy. Clouds and ice are good reflectors of solar radiation. About one third of radiation reaching Earth is immediately reflected back to space, while two thirds is absorbed by the atmosphere, soil and seas. This radiation is also reflected back, but more slowly.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Finnish Meteorological Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Finnish Meteorological Institute. "Increasingly precise data on radiation reflected from the Arctic sea area." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006085326.htm>.
Finnish Meteorological Institute. (2011, October 6). Increasingly precise data on radiation reflected from the Arctic sea area. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006085326.htm
Finnish Meteorological Institute. "Increasingly precise data on radiation reflected from the Arctic sea area." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006085326.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

AP (Nov. 22, 2014) Hundreds of volunteers joined a 'shovel brigade' in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, as the city was living up to its nickname, "The City of Good Neighbors." Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins