Albedo is defined as the ratio of total upwelling to total downwelling solar radiation at the surface.
It represents the energy balance at the soil-vegetation-atmosphere interface. The albedo allows to quantify the part of the energy that is absorbed by Earth surface and then transformed to heat.
The albedo is a unitless variable ranging from 0 to 1. Land surface with an albedo of 1, such as snow, totally reflects back the downwelling solar radiation. As a consequence, none of the energy is absorbed.
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