The ratio of the amount of radiation reflected from an object's surface compared to the amount that strikes it. This varies according to the texture, color, and expanse of the object's surface and is reported in percentage. Surfaces with high albedo include sand and snow, while low albedo rates include forests and freshly turned earth.

Fresh Snow 80 to 90%
Dry Sand 39%
Wet Sand 23%
Tall Grass 20%
Dry Soil 17%
Deciduous Trees 15 to 18%
Grass 15%
Worn Asphalt 12%
Conifer Forest 8 to 15%
Water 8%
Fresh Asphalt 4%

The Earth′s albedo varies mainly through varying cloudiness, snow, ice, leaf area, and land cover changes.

See also: Albedometer, Earth.

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Subjects: Environmental Meteorology