Earth’s reflectance declining over the years a major cause of worry: Scientists explain

Earth's reflectance declining over the years a major cause of worry: Scientists explain
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We all know that there is a solar system that works for our planet earth. And we also know that this solar system is what keeps us alive.

But as more and more human activities are influencing planet earth, it is changing nature’s cycle in unprecedented ways.

Scientists suggest that the amount of sunlight that Earth reflects back into space has decreased measurably.

This light is measured by the dim glow seen on the dark portions of a crescent moon’s face.

On average, the earth typically reflects about 30 per cent of the sunlight that shines on it.

As per a new analysis, the earth’s reflectance has been declining in recent years.

Scientists, using ground-based instruments at Big Bear measured earthshine from 1998 to 2017.

The team of scientists collected a mere 801 data points during those 20 years.

Earth and its declining reflectance

To their astonishment, much of the decrease in reflectance occurred during the last three years of the two-decade period the team studied.

They also hint that the drop in reflectance stems from warmer temperatures along the Pacific coasts of North and South America. This is how in turn it reduced low-altitude cloud cover and exposed the underlying, much darker and less reflective seas.

It is worth mentioning that many studies point to a long-term decline in sea ice also especially in the Arctic, ice on land, and tiny pollutants called aerosols. These all scatter sunlight back into space to cool Earth.

With more and more ice cover declining, Earth is absorbing more radiation.

Moreover, planet-warming greenhouse gases and other human activity (climate change) over the same period boosted energy input to Earth’s surface by an estimated 0.6 watts of energy per square meter.


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