Physics‐Based Narrowband Optical Parameters for Snow Albedo Simulation in Climate Models

Wenli Wang, Cenlin He, John Moore, Gongxue Wang, Guo‐Yue Niu

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Accurate snow albedo simulation is a prerequisite for climate models to produce reliable climate prediction. Climate models would benefit from schemes of snowpack radiative transfer that are responsive to changing atmospheric conditions. However, the uncertainties in the narrowband snow optical parameters used by these schemes have not been evaluated. Conventional methods typically compute these narrowband parameters as irradiance-weighted averages of the spectral snow optical parameters, with the single scattering albedo being additionally weighted by the optically thick snowpack albedo. We first evaluate the effectiveness of the conventional methods as adopted by the widely used Community Land Model (CLM). Snow albedo calculations using the CLM narrowband optical parameters are relatively accurate for very thin snow (e.g., a bias of 0.01 for a 2-cm snowpack). The error, however, becomes larger as snowpack thickens (with biases of up to 0.05 for semi-infinite snowpack), because the snow radiative transfer is highly nonlinear and is most significant at wavelengths
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Field of science

  • Geosciences


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