Impact of MODIS sensor calibration updates on Greenland Ice Sheet surface reflectance and albedo trends
Abstract. We evaluate Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface reflectance and albedo trends using the newly released Collection 6 (C6) MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) products over the period 2001–2016. We find that the correction of MODIS sensor degradation provided in the new C6 data products reduces the magnitude of the surface reflectance and albedo decline trends obtained from previous MODIS data (i.e., Collection 5, C5). Collection 5 and 6 data product analysis over GrIS is characterized by surface (i.e., wet vs. dry) and elevation (i.e., 500–2000 m, 2000 m and greater) conditions over the summer season from 1 June to 31 August. Notably, the visible-wavelength declining reflectance trends identified in several bands of MODIS C5 data from previous studies are only slightly detected at reduced magnitude in the C6 versions over the dry snow area. Declining albedo in the wet snow and ice area remains over the MODIS record in the C6 product, albeit at a lower magnitude than obtained using C5 data. Further analyses of C6 spectral reflectance trends show both reflectance increases and decreases in select bands and regions, suggesting that several competing processes are contributing to Greenland Ice Sheet albedo change. Investigators using MODIS data for other ocean, atmosphere and/or land analyses are urged to consider similar re-examinations of trends previously established using C5 data.