Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536



Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

With respect to incoming solar radiation, how are albedo and absorption related? Develop a mathematical relationship between these two processes. If the albedo of a grassy lawn is 23% and that of a blacktop driveway is 4%, what is the difference in the absorption between these two surfaces?

To determine

The relation between albedo and absorption, a mathematical relationship between them and the difference in the absoption between a grassy lawn with an albedo of 23% and a blacktop driveway with an albedo of 4%.


Albedo may be defined as a surface’s ability to reflect solar energy and can be expressed as a percentage. A high albedo surface would reflect a high percentage of its received energy. Since the energy that is not reflected from a surface gets absorbed, it is certain that albedo and energy absorption are interrelated. Higher albedo implies lower amount of energy absorption and vice versa. Low albedo surfaces would generally exhibit higher temperatures.

The relation between the albedo and absorption could be stated in a simple way as follows:

Percentage of albedo+Percentage of absorption=100 percent total

This means that,

Percentage of absorption= 100 percent total-Percentage of albedo

A grassy lawn has an albedo of 23%...

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