Snow and Ice

"Albedo, the ratio of incoming to reflected solar radiation, plays an important role in climate by regulating the amount of shortwave radiation reflected or absorbed and subsequently reradiated as longwave radiation by a surface.” (Burakowski et al., 2015)

Albedo changes are related to light scattering which is caused by changes in particle (crystal size) packing density and foreign materials such as algae or dust on the snow; these things impact the melt rate and can be an indicator of snow/water equivalent, which is important for reservoir management.


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