Unexpectdly, Earth Got Dimmer And Reflects Less Light Since The 1990s

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Hello and welcome! My name is Anton and in this video, we will talk about a new study that discovers the troublesome decrease of albedo of planet Earth in last two decades


Giorgiogp2 CC BY-SA 3.0 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo#/media/File:Ceres_2003_2004_clear_sky_total_sky_albedo.png
JohnVanVliet, CC BY SA 4.0 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jkv.TrES-2b.png
Gringer, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetshine#/media/File:Earthshine_diagram.svg

Tags: anton petrov, science, physics, astrophysics, astronomy, universe, whatdamath, what da math, technology, steven universe, space engine, universe sandbox 2

  1. Jazeen Haral

    I thought this was expected. With greenhouse gas buildup doesn’t that mean more light stays between the atmosphere and the surface, therefore, less light reflected back out?

  2. H Grace

    Thank you, wonderful Anton. You always have such well researched videos to share with us

  3. norseman1140

    I wonder what the ratio of urban and road expansion is compared to the temperature increase. I haven’t done the math, but I’d be willing to bet they are similar. Wouldn’t it be wild if the solution to our warming woes is white shingles and concrete?

  4. Rey Nemaattori

    (Climate) scientists: Oh no, increased CO2 makes temperatures rise, this will cause ice to melt and lower Earth albedo, trapping even more heat!
    Earth: _Reflects less light_
    Scientists: *surprised pikachu face*

  5. tibetloga

    Maybe increased activity from the sun prevented cosmic rays from impacting the atmosphere. This resulted in less cloud formation, and lowered the albedo.

  6. Michael Clark

    As we remove Carbon, and Hydro-carbons from the ground, and put them into the atmosphere, the Volume, Pressure, and Temperature of the Atmosphere increases.

  7. Michael Scharf

    What about the radiation at night? Like clouds reflect light during day time, they reduce heat loss during the night. May it be that there is another effect during the night that compensates for the lower albedo?

  8. W J

    Well, the snow and ice are less present to reflect any light, so…yeah. The ratio of salt in the oceans is also getting lower. I’d imagine the reduced salinity might contribute to reduced reflectivity. Anyway, I’m kinda waiting to see what developments in the fate of humanity reveal themselves next. Thanks.

  9. Elaad Teuerstein

    At what wavelengths was the albedo measured? I assume it is at visible lght range, but what about infrared? Has Earth’s radiation at this part of the spectrum also increased or has it decreased?

  10. Helmut Zollner

    Very interesting. So how many Terawatt hours is half a percent of Albedo change?

  11. Rhodri

    What about the reduced sea ice at the poles each winter, ice that would normally stick around all spring at least. I would have thought that would account for a lot of lost reflectivity.

  12. Sebastian Geschonke

    Does this correlate with decreasing ice mass in the Northern hemisphere? Can you split the Albedo from the dark side of the moon into the origin where the light reflects from?

  13. Geno Stellar

    So, instead of having an average albedo of 0.3, the Earth’s albedo is now 0.295, or did it maybe drop to 0.3 from 0.305?

  14. Brendon K

    What if all the planets in the solar system have dimmed similarly in response to some distant cosmic event?

  15. Anglosaxon Mike

    Could it be the extra volcanic actitvity creating more dust particles in the atmosphere? Excellent video as always Anton, many thanks.

  16. Perfect World of Karma

    Unexpected? This has been known as greenhouse effect for decades.
    Cheap co2 sensors use a small laserdiode with a filter, to count by measuring the reflection.

  17. Fred Hawken

    This has been known for some time now. Fine dust particles and sut in the air and clouds makes them ‘grayer’ and thus absorb more light, which in turn adds more heat, contributing to the feedback loop our climate is in right now.

  18. reyalsregnava

    Almost as if there is something converting visible light into thermal energy. If only there was an name for this effect, some kind of light catching effect that produces heat, like we have noticed in green houses…..some kind of greenhouse effect.

  19. Beavan Family

    One possible cause could be the shifting of the magnet pole from being over ice to being over water.

  20. The - Selfish - Meme

    Fortunately, it gets a little brighter with each of your videos.
    Thanks, Anton.

  21. UteChewb

    Did I spot a halo around wonderful person Anton? I think I did. BTW, fascinating video. A bit of a worry, but not a surprise with disappearing ice and reduced cloud albedo I suppose.

  22. Gonzo

    Everyday we have more and more data that shows our earth and its weather systems are far more complicated then any model can account for. Interesting how the change coincides perfectly with our temp rise

  23. Albert Lafreniere

    Does the global temp respond to the amount of light that is reflected from the surface? The decrease in snow and tundra could be a major contributor.

  24. GoBlesstheSky

    Could the loss of Arctic Sea Ice play a part in this?

  25. Michael Flynn

    as a correspondent on the ground here on Earth, things are definitely much dimmer than they were 30 years ago

  26. Wendy Dorksplorer

    I wonder if some of that energy being absorbed is going out via volcanic activity? How much extra energy can the earth absorb? Where does that energy go?

  27. Dogphlap

    Well the loss of high albedo sea ice, replaced with low albedo open water would not help. Greenhouse gases operate in the infra-red so I’m assuming they would not affect albedo in the human visible end of the spectrum.

  28. Clive Mattinson

    The Earth reflects less light? …… “It’s not my fault! I didn’t do it!” 😂

  29. T Cutler

    My imagination went to some martian saying “hmm, the albedo of mars has decreased…I’m sure it’s nothing.”

  30. Kooka Munga

    Does anyone think the volcano in the Canaries is spewing out enough ash to give us a colder or longer winter in the northern hemisphere ?

  31. M Mickle

    Eh, I never wanted to be that shiny anyway. I prefer blending in and being a wallflower.

  32. Peter Hall

    Had a a quick look at the paper. To really get into the bowels of the technique you have go through several layers of foundational work not surprisingly. This looks pretty important given climate model sensitivity to albedo. No doubt other teams will apply a critical eye to the issue and hopefully we will get closer to an understanding. Thanks for highlighting this issue.

  33. Julia Henriques

    Vangelis taught me it was 0.39. It’s indeed disturbing. The song might have to be re-recorded now. Albedo 0.385 doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

  34. Deep Ashtray

    It would be interesting to see if there’s a correlation with the global changes in rainfall patterns. Arid areas are getting drier while other areas are getting wetter… we could very well have more clouds, but it’s very possible those clouds could be more regionally concentrated and less evenly spread across the planet.

  35. Bob Goodall

    The effect is noted in poem called the ballad of Sir Patrick Spens noting a sailors view of the early crescent moon with a brighter than normal earth shine…

  36. Jeff

    What was the albedo for the 10 millennia prior to 1990? The temp difference between July and January tells us nothing about temperature trends for even 2 years. Such a tiny slice of data is curious but centuries premature in drawing any patterns. Huge fan Anton.

  37. Gray82

    Is the albedo decreasing because of space dust or the moon moving farther away from Earth as time passes?

  38. mkeuphoria

    How about the effect of massive amounts of methane expelling out of the Arctic, which then goes to the upper layer of our atmosphere (mesosphere). Is methane a less reflective chemical element?

  39. silent willy

    Good that there is now some more data, when I googled before I found only very limited, inconclusive data about the albedo. I’m surprised you call it unexpected and are looking for an explanation. Obviously albedo has to decline for climate change to be real. How else is earth going to heat up? In the end it’s simply a matter of energy balance. Nevertheless, it is worth to ponder contributing factors as influencing them may provide a shortcut to delaying or even reversing climate change.

  40. Gregora

    A very illuminating video! I feel like I’m more enlightened now. I feel that the decrease in Earth’s albedo requires further reflection.

  41. SUS

    Honestly, I wish my telescope had your name on it as a atagraph, LOVE YOU ANTON 🤩

  42. David Datura

    Yet another nail in the coffin of our seemingly impending doom! This is all so fucking depressing 😔

  43. Simpel Jay

    You’d think it has something to do with gravity’s affect on light. Our solar system is constantly changing right? So wouldn’t the center of gravity on different planets and such affect light ever so slightly?

  44. permanently banned

    Thank you Anton for all your hard work!

  45. Nunya Bidniz

    “We’re going to talk about the libido of planet Earth? Yeah, baby!” – Austin Powers, probably.

  46. John Laskey

    Did the paper address any analysis of whether increases in global urban development and/or deforestation (e.g., the Amazon) has a correlation with the measurements?

  47. Car Viewer

    Watching the video as always with the climate change topic I just took away. We don’t know what is happening. From what I could make out only visible light is taken into considerration. For global warming the infrared radiation is what is important. If more visible light is absorbed this could be through many effects glaciar melting for exmple and the surfaces below not being as reflective anymore global greening covering areas that previously where reflecting more visible light. Thank you Anton for making these videos to help me and others puzzle it together.

  48. Wolfgang Feist

    Melting of ice-cover? A part of the cause? That’s a positive feedback loop; may be, we should really pull us together to tackle climate change…

  49. Peter Thejll

    Thanks for reviewing this paper. The BBSO + IAC has done wonderful work over decades pioneering modern digital techniques for this.

  50. Peter Gisel

    A couple of thoughts in addition to the more common albedo modifiers

    So first we are assuming the Albedo of the Moon hasn’t decreased.

    Secondly, If the planet is warming then the overall ability of the atmosphere to hold moisture increases. As a result there can be a much higher humidity (not relative humidity) making the atmosphere less penetrable by light with the non-condensed water vapor absorbing the light just as the oceans do by depth. Also higher humidity might also be refracting light. Think of a pair of eyeglasses or a glass window pain.

  51. Juanita Sierra Salamanca

    Does someone know if that trend (of decreasing albedo) is shared with nearby planets of our solar system?

  52. EvilJedi

    I thought one of the causes is already know: Melting glaciers, Melting arctic/antarctic/greenland ice
    One other cause I was thinking already since several years: How much is caused by photovoltaic panels ?
    I mean, they convert 20% of sunlgiht into electricty, but how much (%) more do they absorb sunlight, heating up more than the surface before ?
    (e.g. compare with red house roofes / sea / grass planes wherever they are mounted)

    Does someone have list of albedo of these stuff ?^^

  53. Nathanael Sonnhalter

    Loved it. Thank you Wonderful Person!

  54. Sam Smith

    Does converting energy coming the earths surface into electricity have any effect on the luminosity?

  55. Jon Macdonald

    One note: we ineptly named the side of the moon that is facing away from earth as “the dark side of the moon” so it would be clearer to refer to it as the unlit side or the side facing away from the sun. Either way, love the channel, this has become the only type of “news” I still enjoy reading, and it’s great to see others discussing it!

  56. Claus Strøeh

    What about the proposed correlation between solar activity and cosmic rays/cloud formation? Could be an idea to investigate

  57. Stephen Ferree

    So with the ‘darker’ overall surface (less snow and ice), and atmosphere, (smoke particulates) then the Albedo would decrease, and light (and heat) absorption will will increase. When the Albedo starts to go exponentially down, we are in trouble… oops, I guess it already has.

  58. Antitheist

    You have the type of voice that actually makes me want to listen, excellent topic well delivered, thanks Anton 💯

  59. Dave W

    Good video!
    A question occurs to me about Albido. How is it measured. Or more precisely what is measured?

    The Earth absorbs a certain amount of the energy and gives out a certain amount back out to space ….. but the absorbed frequencies and the radiated ones do not match. If the Scientists are measuring a certain wavelength (visible light) and not infrared there could be a balance …. or less of an imbalance!

    Being of a certain age I remember plans to dust the poles with coal dust to decrease the albedo because the scientists of the time were worried about Global Cooling ….. Seriously! (check out 70’s copies of New Scientist)

  60. Kris Wagner

    How about this one: CO2 levels rise, creating faster plant growth, covering former reflective areas with wood. Or at least, turn deserts into partially tree-covered savannas.

  61. Old Man

    Actually this problem with reflection is a northern hemishere phenomenon with the southern hemisphere brighter than ever and it has been reflected (pardon the pun) in recorded coldest temperatures ever recorded over the last six months in the Antarctica

  62. karel vancamp

    Last i heared (Nasa Goddhard lecture) there are 3 main components that cause this change in albedo: mostly dominated by less cloud formation in equatorial pacific, and to a lesser extend the reduction in artic sea-ice, as well as recent reduction of sulpher by tigther emission rules in China.

  63. Boson

    You know, just a thought. If the composition of gasses in an atmosphere changes a planets albedo value (and also these gasses are being produced due to unnatural industrial processes). Then cant we compare the albedo values of different planets over time to discover if there are processes taking place on the surface? (As an industrial civilization, or even species of different organisms may change a planets chemical composition over time) I don’t know if being able to measure such a miniscule difference in brightness is accurate over a large region of space though (as other factors may also affect the luminosity, or even the albedo)

  64. Spindoctor

    Half of 1% over 30 years is such a small change, when the albido changes by 16% in its natural variability. It is over such a small amount of time to even call it a trend is reaching.

  65. CurryTangent

    >Earth is absorbing more heat
    >there are big implications
    >but first let’s talk about the interesting part, how the data was collected
    This is a wonderful video.

  66. Gunni1972

    I wonder if the rise in temperature actually changed the difference in Night/Day temperatures. Allowing less water to be evaporated into clouds. It would also cause less or more wind in certain regions. Air in winter would be even dryer.

  67. SaGe OwL

    Earth: becomes dimmer
    Alien version of Anton from another system in the Milky way: what’s happening on planet A7537?

  68. Chill_Mode_JD

    “All that you slight
    And everyone you fight
    All that is now
    All that is gone
    All that’s to come
    And everything under the sun is in tune
    But the sun is eclipsed by the moon”

  69. JZ's Best Friend

    Interesting to learn how the albedo is calculated. Thanks for sharing.

  70. Paul Carter

    A not-so-slight problem with this is that the fewer the clouds, the more readily that infrared is emitted, but the measurements did not include Earth’s infrared emittance.

  71. Levi M

    So “The Dark Age” has returned. Seems fitting.

  72. Stephen's Game Channel

    In all probability this is the combination of several different effects. It’s interesting that the clouds are reflecting less light as well as the surface.

  73. Sean Palmer

    I sometimes wonder what would happen if we were able to “paint” the moon white and make it an order of magnitude brighter. For as bright as it seems on a night with a full moon, the moon’s albedo is actually 0.12 which is very similar to that of asphalt (~0.1).

  74. Sparraw

    Hi Anton! Can you please do a video on the new “bubble gun” from the Netherlands, which is basically a vaccine injection that uses lasers instead of needles?

  75. monkerud2108

    Yeye, but the moon is in a roughly equatorial orbit, so the majority of light comes from the part of the planet facing it more directly so this isnt really a proper measurement of albedo as such, that said the majority of the contributions are not from the poles anyway so it’s likely at least somewhat representative although it could be the effect of something else in principle.

  76. Davis Jugroop

    Would the sun’s color change from our perspective if the atmosphere was thicker?

  77. Dr Gamma D

    Albedo drives temperature directly. A 1% absolute change (versus 30% albedo) raises the global temperature (286K) by 286 x (1/4) * 1%/30% = 2.4K, where the 1/4 comes from the exponents in Stefan-Boltzmann’s law. This is basic physics.

  78. Seramarama

    Could a weakening of the planet’s magnetosphere be affecting this?

  79. Doc Forest

    Interesting. I’ve heard old Inuit people who say that it doesn’t get as dark during the winter as it used to. This suggests that pollutants are bending light so that the sky is brighter. At the same time, this might decrease the amount of light reflected back into space.

  80. Arno nümuss

    I remember seeing the new moon through a image intensifier before I knew about earth shine.
    It took me a moment to figure out what I see.

  81. Connor Larson

    People are getting smarter, the planets not dimming the light is just in each of us! :)

  82. Anthony Rauscher —

    Having a decreased albedo can be normal as you age. Don’t be hesitant to bring it up with your ‘Dr’ during your next check in..

  83. Ground Control

    Well, I live in Puerto Rico (which is a tropical island) and lately, in my pueblo, there have been these very strong thunderstorms, nearly non-stop for many weeks now, and before that, we’ve had this pretty much nonstop bout of rains. There will be some small periods of times that are sunny and dry, but it will only be a day or a few at most and then it’s back to weeks/months of nonstop rain. I remember one very wet summer like a decade ago or something, but this hasn’t just been during the summer, it’s been going on for longer. To be honest, I like it. (at least for the time being)

  84. snickle1980

    😐Oh god, that was terrifying. I Accidentally had the video set to .25 because of this earlier Rubix cube thing I watched.
    “this is annnnnnnnnntonnnnnnnnn”

  85. Rupert Reynolds

    Last year I played an old Vangelis album, called “Albedo 0.39”.
    I looked up our current albedo and my first thought was “we’re toast”!
    But I guess in reality a lot of the difference is in the way it’s measured?

  86. Rick Laming

    I am glad you covered this topic. Google had some article about this recently, I was hoping you would shine some light on it for us.

  87. rum runner

    The entire planet isn’t as bright as it was 20 years ago. And the internet as we know it is a little over 20 years old. Coincidence?

  88. Commerce USA

    The Shining II: all work and no play makes Anton a dull boy? 🤣

  89. Jeff Carlsen

    This would seem to fit perfectly with the global dimming phenomenon. Data for that appears to go back to the 1950s. That might be a great issue for tour channel to look at.

  90. B Bear

    Its clearly geo engineering. Would love to see you do a video about that

  91. Deus Divinus

    Wow. I just realized your almost at a million subscribers. Keep up the good work Anton!

  92. John Ghost

    Moonshine, definitely the best of the bunch ;-) Thank you Anton for the video about Pink Floyd.

  93. Dave Brewer

    The Earth along with most of its Inhabitants are indeed getting Dimmer .

  94. MC's Creations

    Pretty interesting indeed. Really curious!

  95. Our Tiny Cosmos

    Another great video! I purchased space engine and i should really dive into it more than I have :(

  96. tech 52

    The effects of an increasingly dullard life finally come to light

  97. 13ig 13oots

    Correction, they don’t measure from the dark side of the moon, it is measured from the dark portion facing us.

  98. James Aron

    Wonderful decadal Earth dimming and albedo effect on planetary shine

  99. Doktor Phill

    Earth has definitely become dimmer lately.. can’t argue with that.

  100. dubya-d

    amazing how many people like your videos that we like them as they begin! thank you for your continued efforts to raise the masses awareness of what’s really happening in our universe. cheers from texas 🤠

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