The Albedo of Water as a Function of Latitude

J. Graham Cogley Department of Geography, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9J 7B8

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Abstract

The latitude dependence of water albedo is usually taken from one of a number of tables available in the literature, but these tables all derive from a single series of calculations, made in 1952, for clear series at noon in the middle of each month. This article contains new tables, in which the albedos are averaged over all radiation received at all elevation angles of the sun (also tabulated). The tables are by month and year, for latitudes 0°C (10°) 90° and latitude belts 0–10° (10°) 80–90°, 0–30° (30°) 60–90° and 30–90° One set is based on the Fresnel equation, another on the data of Grishchenko. In the latter set, albedos are 2–4 percentage points higher at low latitudes, and up to 20 points lower near the pole, than those now in use.

Abstract

The latitude dependence of water albedo is usually taken from one of a number of tables available in the literature, but these tables all derive from a single series of calculations, made in 1952, for clear series at noon in the middle of each month. This article contains new tables, in which the albedos are averaged over all radiation received at all elevation angles of the sun (also tabulated). The tables are by month and year, for latitudes 0°C (10°) 90° and latitude belts 0–10° (10°) 80–90°, 0–30° (30°) 60–90° and 30–90° One set is based on the Fresnel equation, another on the data of Grishchenko. In the latter set, albedos are 2–4 percentage points higher at low latitudes, and up to 20 points lower near the pole, than those now in use.

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