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A Continental United States High Resolution NLCD Land Cover – MODIS Albedo Database to Examine Albedo and Land Cover Change Relationships
Wickham, J. AND C. Barnes. A Continental United States High Resolution NLCD Land Cover – MODIS Albedo Database to Examine Albedo and Land Cover Change Relationships. IAEL (International Association of Landscape Ecology) World Congress, Portland, OR, July 05 - 10, 2015.
Demonstrate influence of land cover on climate at the International Association of Landscape Ecology World Congress, Portland, Oregon
Surface albedo influences climate by affecting the amount of solar radiation that is reflected at the Earth’s surface, and surface albedo is, in turn, affected by land cover. General Circulation Models typically use modeled or prescribed albedo to assess the influence of land cover on climate. Empirical observations of albedo as a function of land cover are generally lacking. We developed a high resolution (~500m-x-500m) dataset of geo-registered land cover and albedo database using the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) and MODIS (MCD43A) data. NLCD land cover include all three eras (2001, 2006, 2011) and 14 of 16 classes. MODIS data include all high quality snow-free and snow-covered observations from 2000 through 2013, and also include all six expressions of albedo (black sky and white sky for visible, near-infrared, and shortwave). Conflation of the three NLCD eras was used to assess the effect of land cover change on albedo. The dataset includes ~9,800 land cover change observations covering many of the plausible NLCD land cover conversions. Preliminary results indicate conversion of forest to herbaceous (cropland, pasture, grassland) leads to an increase in surface albedo, but the albedo change signal is not always detectable.