The Earth is lit up less and less, and that's not good news

The Earth is lit up less and less, and that’s not good news

Written by Mathilde LE PETITCORPS

American scientists have found that the strength of the Earth’s reflection, called its albedo, is decreasing. A worrying phenomenon, as it leads to an increase in global warming.

Earth’s brilliance fades! thats it study The Big Bear Lake Solar Observatory, which specializes in studying the sun, is located in California, in the United States, the magazine revealed. Science and the future He reports the news on his website. Scientists relied on observations of Earth’s radiation, between 1998 and 2017, from satellite data and by observing the amount of Earth’s light reflected from the moon.

This study documents the decrease in albedo on our planet. Albedo is, simply put, a reflective force. The whiter the surface, the more sunlight is reflected and, therefore, the brightness. The high whiteness of the surface also means that it heats up less, because light is “reflected” on it.

The phenomenon increased from 2014 to 2017

Today we know that twenty years later, “Earth brightness decreased by 0.5%, or half a watt less light per square meter,” Locate the magazine Science and the future . “That’s a lot” Scientists say.

Finally, the brightness of the Earth on the Moon was completely constant from 1998 to 2014. Instead of 2014 to 2017, this phenomenon was emphasized. “We were a bit hesitant to analyze the data for these three years because they were identical,” It was explained to CNN The study’s lead author, researcher Philip Judd of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

But when the scientists looked at the data in detail, they found the following: Reflection is greatly reduced.. So much so that researchers who have been monitoring Earth’s radiation since the mid-1990s initially thought they had made a mistake. So they repeated the analyzes and calculations several times.

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Global warming … contributes to global warming

What is the reason for this decrease in the albedo of the earth? There has been less low reflectivity cloud for several years now, especially over the eastern Pacific. This phenomenon is caused by the sharp rise in surface water temperature in this region.

The melting and shrinking of sea ice and ice cover has also occurred Nothing to worry about. This has a direct effect on the albedo on our planet, as the highly reflective white surface of the ice continues to shrink …

Melting ice has a direct impact on the albedo on our planet. (Photo: Natalie Thomas/Reuters)

If the Earth loses its luster, then this is directly related to climate disruption. Worst of all, this has the effect of increasing global warming and thawing. In other words, global warming … contributes to global warming. The “snowball effect” encourages a little optimism.

Read also: Russia is growing with global warming

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