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Solar_Radiation_and_Albedo_ActivitySolar Radiation and Albedo In this activity, you will have a closer look at solar radiation and what happens with that radiation as it travels through the atmosphe... re. First, let’s look at a satellite composite image looking at the land surface albedo. This image is from MODIS, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. Data for this image were collected over a 16-day period.  What is the albedo; how is it defined? ANS- Albedo is a measure of how much light that hits a surface is reflected back without being absorbed.  Explain the map shown below. What areas have a high albedo and why? Similarly, what areas have low albedo. Why? ANS- In that simulation, note that the darker colors represent areas with low albedo (low reflectivity, high absorption), light colors represent areas with high albedo (high reflectivity). The area off the west coast of South America has a high albedo because the clouds are reflecting the sunlight. Forested areas such as Arica and Australia reflect low albedo because most of radiation is absorbed by the dark soil.  Which season is represented by this map? ANS- Spring since the data was taken over April.  Why are there no data over Antarctica and over northern Greenland? ANS- This is because there are no sensors over those regions, but even if they did have sensors, they would have really high albedo since the snow would reflect most of the radiation.  Explain how this map was created and why observations over a two-week period were required to produce this map. ANS- The map was created using observations from sensors onboard NASA’s Terra satellite that collected. It has two-week period for data because melt season progressed really fast and albedo dropped from 0.8 to 0.15 [Show More]

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