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PCMDI > WCRP CMIP3 Model Output > Diagnostic Subprojects Printer Friendly Version
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  • Bender, F. A-M., H. Rodhe, R. J. Charlson, A. M.L. Ekman and N. Loeb, 2006: 22 views of the global albedo - comparison between 20 GCMs and two satellites. Tellus A, DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0870.2006.00181.x. Accepted.

A comprehensive comparison of characteristics of the planetary albedo ($\alpha$) in data from two satellite measurement campaigns (ERBE and CERES) and output from 20 General Circulation Models (GCMs), simulating the 20th century climate, is performed.
Discrepancies between different data sets and models exist; thus it is clear that conclusions about absolute magnitude and accuracy of albedo should be drawn with caution. Yet, given the present calibrations, a bias is found between different estimates of $\alpha$,
with modelled global albedos being systematically higher than the observed. The difference between models and observations is larger for the more recent CERES measurements than the older ERBE measurements.
Through the study of seasonal anomalies and space- and time distribution of correaltions between models and observations, specific regions with large discrepancies can be identified. It is hereby found that models appear to overestimate the albedo during boreal summer and underestimate it during austral summer.
Furthermore, the seasonal variations of albedo in subtropical areas dominated by low stratiform clouds, as well as in dry desert regions in the subtropics, seem to be poorly simulated by the models.

Last Updated: 2006-03-08

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