An astronomer recently said the Earth is turning black and this has been revealed in a newly published research by a team of scientists.
As indicated in an Inside Wales Sport report, the "light blue dot in the universe," as Carl Sagan, an astronomer called it, is less and less yellow.
The said new research now suggests that the ocean waters' warming has reduced this planet's brightness.
The study authors used decades of measurements of the brightness of Earth. Specifically, they calculated based on the reflection of the brightness coming from Earth that illuminates the Moon's dark side.
They also used satellite measurements to detect a substantial drop in the reflection of Earth, also known as "albedo" for the past two decades.
Substantial Decline in Earth's Reflectivity
As indicated in the study published in AGU - Geophysical Research Letters, at present, the Earth is reflecting roughly "half a watt less light per square meter" than it did two decades ago.
According to scientists, that is the same as a 0.5-percent reduction in the reflectivity of Earth. It is quite a substantial decline, as the Earth reflects approximately 30 percent of the light that comes from the Sun.
The change was sudden, to the extent that it confused the scientific team. During the first 17 years of measurement, the albedo data did not show any significant changes, to the extent that researchers were reluctant to continue with the rest of the study. However, the researchers observed a sudden decline in the last three years.
New Jersey Institute of Technology researcher and the study's lead author Philip Goode said this drop was a big surprise "after almost 17 years of almost flat albedo," as he referred to Bear Solar Observatory in California.
Decrease in Brightness
In a similar report, News in 24 said the researchers provided two things that explain the decline in brightness. First is a decline in light from the sun. Second, a decrease in the reflectivity of the Earth.
The first supposition is rejected. The observed changes in the albedo of this planet are not associated with periodic changes to the brightness of the Sun.
Meaning, the interpretation is to be found on Earth, to be more precise, in the clouds surrounding the Earth. The cloud cover plays a vital part in the albedo of the Earth because the sunlight bouncing off it, is returned into space.
The report explained that as the cloud cover decreases, the rays of the Sun are penetrating the Earth all the more. This is the reason this planet appears less bright.
Link to Climate Change
The researchers noted that based on clouds and satellite measurements performed as part of the research, the drop in albedo in recent years coincides with a decline in low, bright clouds in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
This is the same region, of North and South America's western coasts, where difficulty in climactic conditions known as the "Pacific Decadal Oscillation" or PDO has resulted in a rise in sea surface temperatures, possibly associated with global climate change, as explained in the National Geographic.
In short, parts of the oceans have already warmed, leading to less cloud cover over the water, enabling passage of more sunlight through to Earth, instead of having it reflected back into space.
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