Relationships between albedo and microwave emissions over thin newly formed sea ice during fall freeze-up

B Hwang, Jens K. Ehn, David G. Barber

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This study examines the relationship between albedo and microwave emissions over thin newly formed Arctic sea ice using in-situ measurements collected 19 Oct - 13 Nov 2003 in the Cape Bathurst Polynya, southern Beaufort Sea. Regression analysis show that statistically significant relationships exist between the microwave polarization ratio (PR(19)) and sea ice albedo. The albedo derived from the relationship with the PR(19) is compared to the albedo calculated from two parameterization schemes used in the climate models. The results show that the parameterized albedo significantly underestimates over thin ice or overestimates over thick snow-covered ice relative to both the in-situ and microwave-derived albedo. This study suggest that use of satellite passive microwave data should be considered in order to improve the treatment of surface albedo in regional climate models, in seasonal or marginal ice zones.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL17503
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


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