Evaluation of a new snow albedo scheme for the greenland ice sheet in the regional atmospheric climate model (racmo2)

Christiaan T. Van Dalum*, Willem Jan Van De Berg, Stef Lhermitte, Michiel R. Van Den Broeke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Snow and ice albedo schemes in present-day climate models often lack a sophisticated radiation penetration scheme and do not explicitly include spectral albedo variations. In this study, we evaluate a new snow albedo scheme in the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) for the Greenland ice sheet, version 2.3p3, that includes these processes. The new albedo scheme uses the TwostreAm Radiative TransfEr in Snow (TARTES) model and the Spectral-To-NarrOWBand ALbedo (SNOWBAL) module, version 1.2. Additionally, the bare-ice albedo parameterization has been updated. The snow and ice broadband and narrowband albedo output of the updated version of RACMO2 is evaluated using the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) and Kangerlussuaq transect (K-Transect) in situ data and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) remote-sensing observations. Generally, the modeled narrowband and broadband albedo is in very good agreement with satellite observations, leading to a negligible domain-Averaged broadband albedo bias for the interior. Some discrepancies are, however, observed close to the ice margin. Compared to the previous model version, RACMO2.3p2, the broadband albedo is considerably higher in the bare-ice zone during the ablation season, as atmospheric conditions now alter the bare-ice broadband albedo. For most other regions, however, the updated broadband albedo is lower due to spectral effects, radiation penetration or enhanced snow metamorphism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3645
Pages (from-to)3645-3662
Number of pages18
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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