What’s an Albedo? (And Why You Should Care)

Here’s a really good article on KQED’s Climate Watch on Albedo and why it’s important in a warming planet – it’s also really good to see Jeff Dozier’s work highlighted in the article.   btw, last year Jeff was awarded the Jim Gray eScience Award, which recognizes innovators whose work has made an especially significant contribution to the field of data-intensive computing, at the Microsoft Research eScience Workshop

Another article on Jeff’s work -
Jim Gray eScience Award Recipient Unlocks Secrets in the Snow

What's an Albedo? (And Why You Should Care)

April 29, 2010 · Posted By Molly Samuel

Jeff Dozier approaches the instrument tower on Mammoth Mountain.

Jeff Dozier approaches an instrument tower on Mammoth Mountain. Photo: Molly Samuel

When Jeff Dozier, a hydrologist at UC Santa Barbara, goes to work, he gets to enjoy quite a view. His snow lab is perched halfway up Mammoth Mountain in the central Sierra. We took a gondola to get up there; the other passengers were skiers and snowboarders itching to get out on the freshly fallen snow.

But the instrument platform from which we enjoyed views of the White Mountains is really only half the story. Dozier’s computer lab has much less of a view. In fact, it has no view. It’s buried under the snow, accessible only through what he calls a “Santa Claus entrance” (in the picture above, you can see the entrance–it's the white tubular "chimney" extending down into the snow from the center of the platform).

The snow lab, operated by both UCSB and the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), uploads information about the snowpack to a website every fifteen minutes. You can see nearly real-time readings on, among other things, snow depth, temperature, humidity, and radiation.


What’s an Albedo? (And Why You Should Care) | KQED's Climate Watch