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What surface has the highest albedo?

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Jan 11, 2018


For earth science, fresh snow.


The amount of radiation reflected by a surface is referred to as its albedo. Albedo can range from a value of 0 (no reflection) to a value of 1 (100% reflection).

Forests, oceans, cities, deserts all have different albedos. Forests have albedos of between 0.08 and 0.15; deserts have an albedo of about 0.30. Bright snow and ice reflect sunlight back into space; the albedo of snow and ice is between 0.6 to 0.9.

Technically, water can have the highest albedo (almost 1.0), if it is A)perfectly still (no waves at all) and B) the sunlight strikes it at a really shallow angle. It is pretty rare for both those things to happen at the same time.

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