The Earth's Surface is Becoming "Brighter"

Yu Wenlong

PureInsight | June 6, 2005

[] According to an article by The New York Times on May 6th, scientists say that, compared to 1990, the earth's surface has become "brighter." This reverses the gradual trend of "global dimming" over the past decade. The earth being "brighter" means that more sunlight and heat are hitting the surface.

"We see the dimming is no longer there," says Dr. Martin Wild , a climatologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He is also the leading author of papers analyzing sunlight that will soon be published in the journal, Science.

Some scientist have previously pointed out that since the 60's to the 90's in the 20th century, the sunlight received by the earth's surface has been decreasing every decade by 2%. In other words, the earth has been "dimming".

Dr. Wilder points out that, in some places the brightening since the 1990s has more than offset the dimming. In other places, like Hong Kong, which lost more than a third of its sunlight, the dimming has leveled off, but skies remain darker than in the past. In a few places, like India, the dimming trend continues.

At this time, scientists still cannot accurately explain why the earth has been "dimming" and "brightening", as well as the effects such changes have on earth's climate.

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