Interannual Variations of TOA Albedo over the Arctic, Antarctic and Tibetan Plateau in 2000–2019





Citation of Original Publication

Wu, Dong L., Jae N. Lee, Kyu-Myong Kim, and Young-Kwon Lim. 2020. "Interannual Variations of TOA Albedo over the Arctic, Antarctic and Tibetan Plateau in 2000–2019" Remote Sensing 12, no. 9: 1460.


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.



Recent changes in Earth’s climate system have significantly affected the radiation budget and its year-to-year variations at top of the atmosphere (TOA). Observing high-latitude TOA fluxes is still challenging from space, because spatial inhomogeneity of surface/atmospheric radiative processes and spectral variability can reflect sunlight very differently. In this study we analyze the 20-year TOA flux and albedo data from CERES and MISR over the Arctic, the Antarctic, and Tibetan Plateau (TP), and found overall great consistency in the TOA albedo trend and interannual variations. The observations reveal a lagged correlation between the Arctic and subarctic albedo fluctuations. The observed year-to-year variations are further used to evaluate the reanalysis data, which exhibit substantial shortcomings in representing the polar TOA flux variability. The observed Arctic flux variations are highly correlated with cloud fraction (CF), except in the regions where CF > 90% or where the surface is covered by ice. An empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis shows that the first five EOFs can account for ~50% of the Arctic TOA variance, whereas the correlation with climate indices suggests that Sea Ice Extent (SIE), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and 55°N–65°N cloudiness are the most influential processes in driving the TOA flux variabilities