1Climate Research Group, Division of Environmental Physics and Meteorology, Faculty of Physics, University of Athens, University Campus Bldg. Phys. V, Athens 15784, Greece
2Laboratory for Atmospheric Physics, Research Center for Interdisciplinary Environmental Cooperation (INENCO RAS), Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia
3Division of Electronic Engineering and Physics, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK
4Institute of Physics, St. Petersburg State University, Ulyanovskaya 1, 198504 St. Petersburg, Russia
Abstract. The airborne spectral observations of the upward and downward irradiances are revisited to investigate the dependence of the near-ground albedo as a function of wavelength in the entire solar spectrum for different surfaces (sand, water, snow) and in different conditions (clear or cloudy sky). The radiative upward and downward fluxes were determined by a diffraction spectrometer flown on a research aircraft that was performing multiple flight paths near ground. The results obtained show that the near-ground albedo does not generally increase with increasing wavelengths for all kinds of surfaces as is widely believed today. Particularly, in the case of water surfaces we found that the albedo in the ultraviolet region is more or less independent of the wavelength on a long-term basis. Interestingly, in the visible and near-infrared spectra the water albedo obeys an almost constant power-law relationship with wavelength. In the case of sand surfaces we found that the sand albedo is a quadratic function of wavelength, which becomes more accurate, if the ultraviolet wavelengths are neglected. Finally, we found that the spectral dependence of snow albedo behaves similarly to that of water, i.e. both decrease from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared wavelengths by 20–50%, despite of the fact that their values differ by one order of magnitude (water albedo being lower). In addition, the snow albedo versus ultraviolet wavelength is almost constant, while in the visible-near infrared spectrum the best simulation is achieved by a second-order polynomial, as in the case of sand, but with opposite slopes.