A group of researchers has found that the Earth is getting ‘darker’ because warming oceans are creating fewer bright clouds, which results in less light from the sun being reflected, and this is causing the planet to warm up even more.
The researchers explained, in a research paper carried by the “Science Alert” website, that the Earth now reflects about half a watt of light per square meter compared to 1998, which is equivalent to a 0.5 percent decrease in the Earth’s reflection. In all, Earth reflects about 30 percent of the sunlight that reaches it.
The brightness of the Earth depends on the amount of sunlight reaching it and the reflection of the planet. Satellite measurements that the research team looked at indicate that the decrease in bright, reflective, and low clouds over the eastern Pacific Ocean was a major contributor to the Earth’s reduced brightness.
They are all likely related to climate change, since in the same regions where bright clouds are weakening, ocean surface temperatures are rising. Clouds, water, ice, forests, deserts and all other types of land reflect sunlight differently, which is why researchers are now calling for more comprehensive measurements in the coming years.
And about the impact of climate change on the oceans, the American newspaper “Washington Post” published a study saying that the ocean waters did not mix with each other at the usual level due to climate change, as there was a discrepancy in the mixing of layers with each other. The study showed that this could lead to a warming of the planet in the coming decades, based on indicators that showed the accumulation of warm water near the surface, and a decrease in the circulation and mixing of cold and deep water.
The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggested that the dimensions of this may go beyond accelerating the pace of global warming and exceeding it to increase the energy of hurricanes and storms, reduce the essential nutrients for fish in the upper ocean layers, and reduce the ability of the oceans to store carbon.