Albedo

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The albedo of the earth describes the part of the light that is reflected from the earth's surface. It should be noted that bright surfaces reflect more light than dark surfaces. Dark surfaces absorb the light better and store its heat, so that it is usually warmer on dark surfaces than on brighter surfaces. Pigments, extracellular substances and the degradation activity of microorganisms, along with impurities and surface structure, contribute to increased light absorption.

 

Explanation for children: Albedo is the part of light that is reflected back from the earth's surface. When we put on a white T-shirt in the summer, we radiate a lot of light. If we put on a black T-shirt, we absorb a lot of light, store the heat and get hot very quickly. The Albedo works in the same way on glaciers: Bright surfaces reflect a lot of light, and dark surfaces store light. For example, if many microorganisms live on surfaces, they appear darker and therefore become warmer.