A comparison of shortwave reflectance over the East Antarctic Plateau observed by CERES to that estimated from surface reflectance observations



[1] Spectral albedo and bidirectional reflectance of snow were measured at Dome C on the East Antarctic Plateau for wavelengths of 350–2400 nm and solar zenith angles of 52°–87°. A parameterization of bidirectional reflectance, based on those measurements, is used as the lower boundary condition in the atmospheric radiation model SBDART to calculate radiance and flux at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). The model's atmospheric profile is based on radiosoundings at Dome C and ozonesoundings at the South Pole. Computed TOA radiances are integrated over wavelength for comparison with the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) shortwave channel. CERES radiance observations and flux estimates from four clear days in January 2004 and January 2005 from within 200 km of Dome C are compared with the TOA radiances and fluxes computed for the same solar zenith angle and viewing geometry, providing 11,000 comparisons. The measured radiance and flux are lower than the computed values. The median difference is about 7% for CERES on Terra, and 9% on Aqua. Sources of uncertainty in the model and observations are examined in detail and suggest that the measured values should be less than the computed values, but only by 1.7% ± 4%. The source of the discrepancy of about 6% cannot be identified here; however, the modeled values do agree with observations from another satellite instrument (Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer), suggesting that the CERES calibration must be considered a possible source of the discrepancy.