the last four decades, scientists have observed a 1.3% per decade decline in the amount of sun reaching the Earth’s surface. This phenomenon, coined “solar dimming” or “global dimming,” is due to changes in clouds and air pollution that are impeding the suns ability to penetrate. Scientists believe that the combination of growing quantities of man-made aerosol particles in the atmosphere and more moisture are causing the cloud cover to thicken.
Reduction of solar radiance in watts per square meter
Despite this decline in solar radiation, the Earth’s surface continues to warm. New research, led by Dr. Beate Liepert of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, suggests an explanation for this paradox, as well as new findings that a warmer world may mean a dryer and dimmer world.
Published in Geophysical Research Letters, Liepert et al. show findings suggesting that solar radiation is being both reflected and trapped in the clouds and aerosol layer, thereby decreasing the amount of radiation that would ordinarily hit the Earth’s surface. It is widely agreed that greenhouse gas trapping is causing the Earth’s surface temperatures to rise. What has not been understood until now is that temperatures would be rising faster or higher if the aerosol layer and cloud cover were not reflecting some of the radiation away. Further, the researchers conclude that the imbalance of less solar radiation with warming surface temperatures will lead to weaker turbulent heat fluxes resulting in reduction in evaporation and precipitation, which will lead to a dryer world.
Mary Tobin | Earth Institute News
Less radiation in inner Van Allen belt than previously believed
21.03.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Mars volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct about the same time
21.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences