An Investigation of Surface Albedo Variations during the Recent Sahel Drought

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  • 1 Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706
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Abstract

Applications Technology Satellite (ATS) 3 green sensor data are used to measure surface reflectance variations in the Sahara/Sahel during the recent drought period 1967–74. The magnitude of the seasonal reflectance change is shown to be as much as 80% for years of normal precipitation and less than 50% for drought years. Year-to-year comparisons during both wet and dry seasons reveal the existence of a surface reflectance cycle coincident with the drought intensity. The relationship between the green reflectance and solar albedo is examined and estimated to be about 0.6 times the reflectance change observed by the green channel.

Abstract

Applications Technology Satellite (ATS) 3 green sensor data are used to measure surface reflectance variations in the Sahara/Sahel during the recent drought period 1967–74. The magnitude of the seasonal reflectance change is shown to be as much as 80% for years of normal precipitation and less than 50% for drought years. Year-to-year comparisons during both wet and dry seasons reveal the existence of a surface reflectance cycle coincident with the drought intensity. The relationship between the green reflectance and solar albedo is examined and estimated to be about 0.6 times the reflectance change observed by the green channel.

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