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[al-bee-doh] /ælˈbi doʊ/
noun, plural albedos.
Astronomy. the ratio of the light reflected by a planet or satellite to that received by it.
Meteorology. such a ratio for any part of the earth's surface or atmosphere.
the white, inner rind of a citrus fruit.
Origin of albedo
1855-60; < Late Latin albēdō whiteness, equivalent to alb(us) white + -ēdō noun suffix; cf. torpedo Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for albedo
  • The type of clouds formed by coal pollution, and the albedo of these clouds are another variable to the greenhouse gas equation.
  • albedo is a measure of how much light an object reflects.
  • There is significant climate engineering which can be done by adjusting the human controlled part of albedo.
  • The power of heat input during the day depends on local albedo and the sine of the angle of the incident solar irradiance.
  • They can enhance the greenhouse effect and they can also increase albedo since they reflect incoming solar radiation.
  • Reflectivity is described in terms of albedo, which is the percentage of light that's reflected.
  • The reflectivity of an asteroid is called its albedo.
  • And as far as reflectivity index or albedo goes, you don't need an atmosphere to have light reflected.
  • Cosmic rays could in principle trigger cloud formation and thereby alter the albedo, which is an interesting idea.
  • High-albedo roof coatings can reduce building air-conditioning energy use.
British Dictionary definitions for albedo


the ratio of the intensity of light reflected from an object, such as a planet, to that of the light it receives from the sun
(physics) the probability that a neutron passing through a surface will return through that surface
Word Origin
C19: from Church Latin: whiteness, from Latin albus white
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for albedo

"ratio of light reflected from a surface," 1859, from Latin albedo, literally "whiteness," from albus "white" (see alb).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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albedo in Science
The fraction of the total light striking a surface that gets reflected from that surface. An object that has a high albedo (near 1) is very bright; an object that has a low albedo (near 0) is dark. The Earth's albedo is about 0.37. The Moon's is about 0.12.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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