Albedo in boreal forest

Albedo in boreal forests serves as a strong climate forcing which potentially can offset the climate impact of carbon sequestration. To assess the albedo effect from different types of forest management in the Nordic countries, fine-resolution albedo products are needed to account for the patchiness and heterogeneity typical present in this biome. There are several albedo products available today. However, most of them have a spatial resolution ranging from approximately 0.25–20 km.

The overall aim of the project “Albedo in boreal forest” is to develop an estimation approach for retrieving fine-resolution albedo to evaluate the albedo effect in managed versus unmanaged forest.

Photo: Eirik Næsset Ramtvedt

About the project
The project is a three-year collaboration in the period 2024–2027 between the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). In the first part of the project, we use UAV-measured albedo from Våler forest lab, to address following research objectives:

  • Assess the effect of spatial resolution of the albedo for boreal forest at stand level.
  • Develop a direct estimation approach to retrieve albedo from Sentinel-2 satellite reflectance imagery at stand level.

The findings from the first part of the project will be used in a larger research initiative at SLU with aim to “assess relationships and trade-offs between productivity, climate impacts, and biodiversity in norther Swedish forests”. Specifically, in this part of the project we will:

  • Assess the difference in albedo for managed forest and un-managed wildfire-distributed primary forest in the northern Sweden over long timescales from satellite albedo.