The earth is constantly trying to balance the energy of the sun and the energy that our planet returns to space. Since the Industrial Revolution, humanity has maintained a balance outside of this energy budget, trapping greenhouse gases for further radiation. The addition of these greenhouse gases is known as the radiation force to study the changes in the concentration and surface temperature of the greenhouse gases over the last one and a half years, but not directly.
In a study published in the Geophysical Research Letter, scientists reported the first direct observations of the growing global radioactive force. Lead author Dr Ryan Kramer, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland, said in a statement, “This is the first calculation of the world’s total radiation using global observations, accounting for the effects of aerosols and greenhouse gases.”
“This is direct evidence that humanitarian action is changing the world’s energy budget.” Since 1997, thanks to NASA’s Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES), scientists have been able to measure how much energy is coming from the sun and how much energy the earth is reflecting back into space. Such data can track energy budget changes but is not a reason to emphasize radiation.
Other NASA satellites have contributed to that thorny problem. These can be used to track changes in natural phenomena that can affect energy budgets. Clouds, surface brightness, and water vapor are just a few examples. The atmospheric infrared sounder on NASA’s Aqua satellite measures the water vapor in our atmosphere, which absorbs heat – so the amount of energy that the Earth releases will vary depending on how much moisture is in the atmosphere. The team then developed a new computational method for subtracting all types from natural sources in the energy measurements adopted by CERES.
They showed that from 2003 to 2018, the radiating force increased by 0.5 watts per square meter. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, explains, “Creating direct records by forcing radioactive calculations from observations allows us to evaluate how climate models can mimic these forgeries,” explained Gavin Schmidt director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
“This allows us to make more confident predictions about how the climate will change in the future.” The new method is fast and can be used to track changes on a daily basis, as well as to test future concept models.
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