EARTH SCIENCE > CRYOSPHERE > SNOW/ICE > ALBEDO
Albedo is the ratio of the radiation (radiant energy or luminous
energy) reflected by a surface to that incident on it. Snow and cloud
surfaces have a high albedo, because most of the energy of the visible
solar spectrum is reflected. Vegetation and ocean surfaces have low
albedo, because they absorb a large fraction of the energy. Clouds are the
chief cause of variations in the Earth's albedo.
Maunder, W.J. 1994. Dictionary of Global Climate Change, 2nd ed. Chapman and
Hall, NY. WMO, 1966. International Meteorological Vocabulary, WMO/OMM/BMO - No.
182 TP. 91, Switzerland.