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Earth Losing Lustre Due to Climate Change

The new study finds that warming ocean waters have caused a drop in the brightness of the Earth. The new study was published in the AGU journal Geophysical research letters. The researchers utilised the measurements of earthshine.

The earthshine is the light reflected from Earth that illuminates the surface of the Moon and satellite measurements to find that there has been a significant drop in Earth’s reflectance, or albedo, over the past two decaades. The Change is reflecting about half a watt less light per square meter than it was 20 years ago, with most of the drop occurring in the last three years of earthshine data.

The study published has high-impact, short-format reports with immediate implications spanning all Change and space sciences. It is the equivalent of 0.5% decrease in the Earth’s reflectance. Earth reflects about 30% of the sunlight that shines on it. Philip Goode, a researcher at New Jersey Institute of Technology and the lead author of the new study that the albedo drop was a big surprise to researchers when they analyzed the last three years of data after 17 years of nearly flat albedo.

That is referring to the earthshine data from 1998 to 2017 gathered by the Big Bear Solar Observatory in Southern California. When the latest data were added to the previous years, the dimming trend became clear.The Change in Earth’s albedo observed by the researchers did not correlate with periodic Change in the Sun’s brightness, so that means Change in Earth’s reflectiveness are caused by something on the Change.

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