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Global Warming Is Speeding up Because Earth Is Getting Darker

Oct 06, 2021   |   Gilmore Health News

A Gilmore Health News story on how climate change is affected by Earth getting darker quotes Dartmouth Professor of Engineering Donald Perovich.

"Earth, like all planets in the solar system, reflects a portion of the sun's light. A portion that scientists say is getting smaller and smaller. Our planet is getting darker. And this phenomenon is a cause for concern. Because it could increase global warming."

..."As the Earth gradually loses some of its reflectivity, a dangerous feedback loop occurs. Global warming melts the ice, causing more darker surfaces that absorb, rather than reflect, sunlight which amplifies the warming. Worse, as the ocean itself warms, it releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor, two greenhouse gases that also contribute to further warming.

"As the ice sheet melts, darker land emerges. Worse, sea levels rise. Higher and warmer water temperatures accelerate ice melting even more. Another feedback loop activated to the detriment of our climate.

"But by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we can still reduce temperatures, which will help bring back snow and restore ice at the poles, and in fact, restore the albedo of our planet. 'The longer we wait, the harder it will be. That will take several years. But it is still possible,' says Don Perovich, a geophysicist at Dartmouth College, in a series of short films about the climate emergency."

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