Earthshine and the Earth's albedo: 2. Observations and simulations over 3 years

E. Pallé, P. R. Goode, V. Yurchyshyn, J. Qiu, J. Hickey, P. Montanés Rodriguez, M. C. Chu, E. Kolbe, Charles Brown, S. E. Koonin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since late 1998, we have been making sustained measurements of the Earth's reflectance by observing the earthshine from Big Bear Solar Observatory. Further, we have simulated the Earth's reflectance for both the parts of the Earth in the earthshine and for the whole Earth. The simulations employ scene models of the Earth from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment, simulated snow/ice cover, and near-real-time satellite cloud cover data. Broadly, the simulations and observations agree; however, there are important and significant differences, with the simulations showing more muted variations. During the rising phase of the Moon we measure the sunlit world to the west of California, and during the declining lunar phase we measure the sunlit world to the east. Somewhat surprisingly, the one third of the Earth to the west and that to the east have very similar reflectances, in spite of the fact that the topographies look quite different. The part to the west shows less stability, presumably because of the greater variability in the Asian cloud cover. We find that our precision, with steady observations since December 1998, is sufficient to detect a seasonal cycle. We have also determined the annual mean albedos both from our observations and from simulations. To determine a global albedo, we integrate over all lunar phases. Various methods are developed to perform this integration, and all give similar results. Despite sizable variation in the reflectance from night to night and from season to season (which arises from changing cloud cover), we use the earthshine to determine annual albedos to better than 1%. As such, these measurements are significant for measuring climate variation and are complementary to satellite determinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres
Volume108
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 27 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Earth albedo
albedo (reflectance)
reflectance
albedo
Earth (planet)
cloud cover
lunar phases
simulation
lunar phase
night
Ursidae
Earth radiation budget experiment
snow
topography
solar observatories
Satellites
ice
radiation budget
climate variation
bear

Keywords

  • Albedo
  • Earth
  • Moon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Pallé, E., Goode, P. R., Yurchyshyn, V., Qiu, J., Hickey, J., Montanés Rodriguez, P., ... Koonin, S. E. (2003). Earthshine and the Earth's albedo: 2. Observations and simulations over 3 years. Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres, 108(22).

Earthshine and the Earth's albedo : 2. Observations and simulations over 3 years. / Pallé, E.; Goode, P. R.; Yurchyshyn, V.; Qiu, J.; Hickey, J.; Montanés Rodriguez, P.; Chu, M. C.; Kolbe, E.; Brown, Charles; Koonin, S. E.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres, Vol. 108, No. 22, 27.11.2003.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pallé, E, Goode, PR, Yurchyshyn, V, Qiu, J, Hickey, J, Montanés Rodriguez, P, Chu, MC, Kolbe, E, Brown, C & Koonin, SE 2003, 'Earthshine and the Earth's albedo: 2. Observations and simulations over 3 years', Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres, vol. 108, no. 22.
Pallé E, Goode PR, Yurchyshyn V, Qiu J, Hickey J, Montanés Rodriguez P et al. Earthshine and the Earth's albedo: 2. Observations and simulations over 3 years. Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres. 2003 Nov 27;108(22).
Pallé, E. ; Goode, P. R. ; Yurchyshyn, V. ; Qiu, J. ; Hickey, J. ; Montanés Rodriguez, P. ; Chu, M. C. ; Kolbe, E. ; Brown, Charles ; Koonin, S. E. / Earthshine and the Earth's albedo : 2. Observations and simulations over 3 years. In: Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres. 2003 ; Vol. 108, No. 22.
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