30% of the energy sent to Earth bounces into outer space

30% of the energy sent to Earth bounces back into outer space and scientists want to stop that

30% of the energy sent to Earth bounces back into outer space

30% of the energy sent to Earth bounces into outer space

If you’ve ever made the mistake of wearing a black shirt on a sweltering day, you know that dark colours absorb the sun’s heat, while light colours reflect it. Our planet works the same way. White surfaces, like the snow on the world’s glaciers, reflect the sun’s rays back toward space. Darker tones, like forests and oceans, absorb more heat. Overall, about 30 per cent of the energy sent to Earth bounces back into outer space, stabilizing the global thermostat. But climate change could upend that balance.

Scientists developed a ratio, called albedo, to describe just how much solar energy any given surface reflects. Albedo can range from zero to one: zero is a perfect absorber, an impossibly dark substance that takes in 100 per cent of the sun’s energies, while one is a perfect reflector, an incredibly bright material bouncing all that energy back. For example, a shirt with an albedo of 0.1 is 10 per cent reflective and 90 per cent absorbent. Full Story 

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