Snow albedo is known to be crucial for heat exchange at high latitudes and high altitudes, and is also an important parameter in General Circulation Models (GCMs) because of its strong positive feedback properties. In this study, seven GCM snow albedo schemes and a multiple linear regression model were intercompared and validated against 59 years of in situ data from Svalbard, the French Alps and six stations in the former Soviet Union. For each site, the significant meteorological parameters for modeling the snow albedo were identified by constructing the 95% confidence intervals. The significant parameters were found to be: temperature, snow depth, positive degree day and a dummy of snow depth, and the multiple linear regression model was constructed to include these. Overall, the intercomparison showed that the modeled snow albedo varied more than the observed albedo for all models, and that the albedo was often underestimated. In addition, for several of the models, the snow albedo decreased at a faster rate or by a greater magnitude during the winter snow metamorphosis than the observed albedo. Both the temperature dependent schemes and the prognostic schemes showed shortcomings.
Climate Dynamics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 15, 2005
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