Modeling land-surface albedos from vegetation canopy architecture

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6 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, the climatic impact of changes in terrestrial albedo has been studied using numerous climate models, ranging from simple, one-dimensional energy balance climate models to the more sophisticated, three-dimensional general circulation models of the atmosphere. In most of these, however, the land-surface albedos have been prescribed both spatially and temporally from albedo observations. To overcome the limitations of using prescribed land-surface albedos, a model of radiation transfer in plant canopies was used to predict vegetation albedos. Because of the model’s reliance on the physical properties of the land-surface cover, it is able to account explicitly for albedo variations caused by factors both internal to and external from the vegetation canopy. The model is described and the results of simulations for three representative canopy types are discussed. The dependence of albedo on irradiance distribution predicted by the model agrees well with established theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-114
Number of pages22
JournalPhysical Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991


  • Albedo
  • Climatology
  • Modeling
  • Vegetation canopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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