Our planet is darkening as the light refracted from Earth’s atmosphere towards the surface of the Moon – and this could be a major problem.

Washington: According to a new study, warm ocean waters have reduced our planet’s brightness, leading to a decrease in the amount of light reflected per square metre (0.5 watts) by the planet over the past 20 years.

If the earth darkens, it also absorbs more solar energy than before, which could cause dire effects in the future.

The researchers found the Earth reflects around half a watt less light per square meter today than it did 20 years ago, and the majority of the drop occurred over the last three years of the Earth’s moon orbit data.

This corresponds to a reduction in reflection by 0.5% or the proportion of light reflected off Earth over this period.

Earth reflects around 30 per cent of sunlight coming down on it.

“The albedo drop was such a surprise to us when we analyzed the last three years of data after 17 years of nearly flat albedo,”Philip Goode

The albedo drop came as such a surprise to us when analyzing data for the past three years after 17 years of almost flat albedo, said Philip Goode, a researcher at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Principal Author of the new study, in a news release.

Climate variability and change

Climate variability includes all the variations in the climate that last longer than individual weather events, (wikipedia)

Geophysical Research Letters

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Biweekly peer-reviewed scientific journal of geoscience published by the American Geophysical Union that was established in 1974. The editor-in-chief is Noah Diffenbaugh (wikipedia)

University of California, Riverside

The University of California, Riverside is a public land-grant research university in Riverside, California. It is one of the 10 campuses of the University of California system. (wikipedia)

University of California

The University of California is a public land-grant research university system in the U.S. state of California. The system is composed of the campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, (wikipedia)

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology is a public research university in Newark, New Jersey with a degree-granting satellite campus in Jersey City. (wikipedia)

Climate change

Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. (wikipedia)