Articles | Volume 14, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 14, 521–538, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-521-2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 521–538, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-521-2020

Research article 11 Feb 2020

Research article | 11 Feb 2020

Algal growth and weathering crust state drive variability in western Greenland Ice Sheet ice albedo

Andrew J. Tedstone et al.

Data sets

MODIS/Terra Snow Cover Daily L3 Global 500m Grid, Version 6 D. K. Hall and G. A. Riggs https://doi.org/10.5067/MODIS/MOD10A1.006

Glacier algae cell counts from UPE_U, north-west Greenland, 26 July 2018 C. J. Williamson, A. Tedstone and J. Cook https://doi.org/10.5285/ab953cb8-8675-4a85-b561-add6ceba015f

Sentinel-2 imagery, S6, south-west Greenland, July 2017: Broadband albedo and surface type classification A. Tedstone and J. Cook https://doi.org/10.5285/8e0a573d-61a4-4a6f-9fca-fc34cbd5fb45

Multi-spectral unmanned aerial system imagery, S6, south-west Greenland, July 2017: Levels 2 (ground reflectance) and 3 (broadband albedo and surface type classification) A. Tedstone and J. Cook https://doi.org/10.5285/77ca631f-a3a4-4f26-bc90-57bb17baa6fc

Multi-spectral unmanned aerial system imagery, UPE_U, north-west Greenland, July 2018: Levels 2 (ground reflectance) and 3 (broadband albedo and surface type classification) A. Tedstone and J. Cook https://doi.org/10.5285/2dd66461-94af-458f-a9d2-c24bb0bd0322

Multi-spectral unmanned aerial system imagery, S6, south-west Greenland, July 2017: Level 1 (unmosaiced radiance measurements) A. Tedstone and J. Cook https://doi.org/10.5285/0579d4a8-e315-41d7-af43-25fb50c7d3da

Multi-spectral unmanned aerial system imagery, UPE_U, north-west Greenland, July 2018: Level 1 (unmosaiced radiance measurements) A. Tedstone and J. Cook https://doi.org/10.5285/a87b7897-354c-4435-a1bc-e6053e7569e0

Model code and software

Code for study analysis A. Tedstone https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3598382

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Short summary
Albedo describes how much light that hits a surface is reflected without being absorbed. Low-albedo ice surfaces melt more quickly. There are large differences in the albedo of bare-ice areas of the Greenland Ice Sheet. They are caused both by dark glacier algae and by the condition of the underlying ice. Changes occur over centimetres to metres, so satellites do not always detect real albedo changes. Estimates of melt made using satellite measurements therefore tend to be underestimates.