Study says Earth is dimming due to ‘climate change’ – but may be natural?

Posted: September 30, 2021 by oldbrew in Clouds, Dataset, Natural Variation, Ocean dynamics, research, Temperature
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Halfway through this article we see the study’s findings were made ‘where increases in sea surface temperatures have been recorded because of the reversal of a climatic condition called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, with likely connections to global climate change’. So the PDO has changed, which it regularly will do as its name (‘decadal’) indicates, and they want to tie the consequences to humans? That seems to be implied, although left vague by the usual catch-all term ‘climate change’.
– – –
WASHINGTON—Warming ocean waters have caused a drop in the brightness of the Earth, according to a new study, says Eurekalert.

Researchers used decades of measurements of earthshine — the light reflected from Earth that illuminates the surface of the Moon to find that there has been a significant drop in Earth’s reflectance over the past two decades.

The Earth is now reflecting about half a watt less light per square meter than it was 20 years ago, with most of the drop occurring in the last three years of earthshine data, according to the new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters, which publishes high-impact, short-format reports with immediate implications spanning all Earth and space sciences.

That’s the equivalent of 0.5% decrease in the Earth’s reflectance. Earth reflects about 30% of the sunlight that shines on it.

“The albedo drop was such a surprise to us when we analyzed the last three years of data after 17 years of nearly flat albedo,” said Philip Goode, a researcher at New Jersey Institute of Technology and the lead author of the new study, referring to the earthshine data from 1998 to 2017 gathered by the Big Bear Solar Observatory in Southern California.

When the latest data were added to the previous years, the dimming trend became clear.

Two things affect the net sunlight reaching the Earth: the Sun’s brightness and the planet’s reflectivity. The changes in Earth’s albedo observed by the researchers did not correlate with periodic changes in the Sun’s brightness, so that means changes in Earth’s reflectiveness are caused by something on the Earth.

Specifically, there has been a reduction of bright, reflective low-lying clouds over the eastern Pacific Ocean in the most recent years, according to satellite measurements made as part of NASA’s Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project.

That’s the same area, off the west coasts of North and South America, where increases in sea surface temperatures have been recorded because of the reversal of a climatic condition called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, with likely connections to global climate change.

Full article here.

Comments
  1. When the climate stops changing I will be worried.

    When the government tells me that they are going to “fix” climate change, it scares the hell out of me.

  2. stpaulchuck says:

    I don’t see the sun’s radiance values at the same time as the Earth data. Without that you are missing a major likely factor. Sounds like another ‘five blind men and an elephant’ issues.

  3. tom0mason says:

    “The albedo drop was such a surprise to us when we analyzed the last three years of data after 17 years of nearly flat albedo,” said Philip Goode, a researcher at New Jersey Institute of Technology and the lead author of the new study…

    This lead author, I contend, is unsuitable for doing such studies as he expresses ‘surprise’ that parameters of nature can show quite a lot of variation. What did he expect? A static albedo while many other recent weather and climate parameters show heaps of variability?

    Philip Goode, the weather may have another couple of surprises for you — some aspects of any local weather can change widely over the day, months, and seasons of a year. And these changes never appear to be an identical repetition of what has gone before. Some of these variations affect the global weather, and some may even affect the global climate!
    Also Philip Goode, note that the climate has always changed and human’s are unable to control it!

  4. oldbrew says:

    The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO): Key to the Global Warming Debate?
    By Dr Roy Spencer

    In fact, I now believe that the PDO is critical to our understanding of global warming. This is because a change in weather circulation patterns can cause a small change in global-average cloudiness. And since clouds represent the single largest internal control on global temperatures (through their ability to reflect sunlight), a change in cloudiness associated with the PDO might explain most of the climate change we’ve seen in the last 100 years or more. [bold added]

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-background-articles/the-pacific-decadal-oscillation/
    – – –
    Have the authors of this new study seen Roy Spencer’s blog post?

  5. Phoenix44 says:

    Just to be pernickety, it’s the “oscillation” in PDO that suggests it oscillates!

    Seems to me the cause-effect coujd just as easily be the other way around: fewer clouds is causing higher temperatures. A proper scientist would then ask why we might have fewer clouds. But climate science no longer asks questions because it believes it has the answer to everything already.

  6. tallbloke says:

    If the albedo is reducing, then the surface is brightening not dimming.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Daytime cloud and nighttime cloud have different effects. Not easy to analyse outcomes.

  8. Gamecock says:

    So which kills more people, Earth dimming or diminished Arctic ice?

  9. oldbrew says:

    TB: yes, their argument does seem a bit strange.

    “It’s actually quite concerning,” said Edward Schwieterman, a planetary scientist at the University of California at Riverside who was not involved in the new study. For some time, many scientists had hoped that a warmer Earth might lead to more clouds and higher albedo, which would then help to moderate warming and balance the climate system, he said. “But this shows the opposite is true.”
    – – –
    “But this shows the opposite is true.” — Does it?

  10. oldbrew says:

    A semi-related study just out…

    OCTOBER 1, 2021
    Decadal climate variability in the tropical Pacific
    by University of Southern Queensland

    Tropical Pacific Decadal Variability (TPDV).

    “TPDV refers to any form of climate variability or change which occurs in the atmosphere, ocean and over land within the tropical Pacific,” said Professor Power, director of the Centre for Applied Climate Sciences at the University of Southern Queensland.
    . . .
    “Warming in the western Pacific has been so great that temperatures experienced over the past decade have been beyond the range evident in reliable instrumental records.”

    https://phys.org/news/2021-10-decadal-climate-variability-tropical-pacific.html
    – – –
    Much talk of extremes and trace gases 🙄

  11. Phil Salmon says:

    “Climate is changing because of climate change”??

    Is this the point to which the evolution of intelligent life has led us??

  12. Gamecock says:

    “Is this the point to which the evolution of intelligent life has led us??”

    Have you ever noticed that all the radio telescopes searching for intelligent life are pointed skyward?

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