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Cooling factors

Year: 2005
From collection: Vital Climate Graphics
Author: Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Description:
The amount of aerosols in the air has direct effect on the amount of solar radiation hitting the Earth's surface. Aerosols may have significant local or regional impact on temperature. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, but at the same time the upper white surface of clouds reflects solar radiation back into space. Albedo - reflections of solar radiation from surfaces on the Earth - creates difficulties in exact calculations. If e.g. the polar icecap melts, the albedo will be significantly reduced. Open water absorbs heat, while white ice and snow reflect it.
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IPCC structure