The quantification of uncertainty in satellite-derived global surface albedo products is a critical aspect in producing complete, physically consistent, and decadal land property data records for studying ecosystem change. A challenge in validating albedo measurements acquired from space is the ability to overcome the spatial scaling errors that can produce disagreements between satellite and field-measured values. Here, we present the results from an accuracy assessment of MODIS and Landsat-TM albedo retrievals, based on collocated comparisons with tower and airborne Cloud Absorption Radiometer (CAR) measurements collected during the 2007 Cloud and Land Surface Interaction Campaign (CLASIC). The initial focus was on evaluating inter-sensor consistency through comparisons of intrinsic bidirectional reflectance estimates. Local and regional assessments were then performed to obtain estimates of the resulting scaling uncertainties, and to establish the accuracy of albedo reconstructions during extended periods of precipitation. In general, the satellite-derived estimates met the accuracy requirements established for the high-quality MODIS operational albedos at 500 m (the greater of 0.02 units or ±10% of surface measured values). However, results reveal a high degree of variability in the root-mean-square error (RMSE) and bias of MODIS visible (0.3-0.7 μm) and Landsat-TM shortwave (0.3-5.0 μm) albedos; where, in some cases, retrieval uncertainties were found to be in excess of 15 %. Results suggest that an overall improvement in MODIS shortwave albedo retrieval accuracy of 7.8%, based on comparisons between MODIS and CAR albedos, resulted from the removal of sub-grid scale mismatch errors when directly scaling-up the tower measurements to the MODIS satellite footprint.