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 October 30, 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 October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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