Albedo is a measure of surface reflectivity; in case of Earth, it says how much sunlight (energy) is reflected back to space. Albedo has a cooling effect. It depends mostly on colour of surface (dark coloured surfaces absorb more energy than light coloured surfaces). Scientists based at the University of California, San Diego have analyzed Arctic satellite data from 1979 to 2011, and have found that average Arctic albedo levels have decreased from 52 percent to 48 percent since 1979, because of declining of Arctic sea ice.

Each surface is characterized by different albedo

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