“Earthshine” from the Moon shows our planet is dimming, intensifying global warming

  • This graph shows the downward trend in Earth’s albedo, as measured by earthshine (black) and CERES data (blue) in watts per square meter. Image credit: Goode et al. (2021), Geophysical Research Letters.This graph shows the downward trend in Earth’s albedo, as measured by earthshine (black) and CERES data (blue) in watts per square meter. Image credit: Goode et al. (2021), Geophysical Research Letters.
  • …Earth’s brightness, as seen from space, has dropped significantly over the past two decades.
  • When the planet reflects less light, more sunlight reaches the ground and the sea, warming the atmosphere.
  • A natural rise in Pacific Ocean temperatures in 2015-2017 made Earth even dimmer by reducing bright clouds over the western Americas, a new study concludes.

For 20 years, researchers stared at the dark side of the moon to measure its faint but visible “earthshine,” a glow created by sunlight reflecting off Earth and onto the lunar surface. Their new analysis, published recently in Geophysical Research Letters, revealed that this ghostly light has darkened slightly, confirming satellite measurements that our planet is getting dimmer.

As the planet reflects less light, the incoming heat gets absorbed by the seas and skies. This lingering warmth probably intensifies the rate of global warming, scientists believe…

Source: “Earthshine” from the Moon shows our planet is dimming, intensifying global warming