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How to Heat a Planet? Impact of Anthropogenic Landscapes on Earth’s Albedo and Temperature

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Document pages: 38 pages

Abstract: Today anthropogenic climate change is underway and predicted future globaltemperatures vary significantly. However, the drivers of current climate changeand their links to Earth’s natural glacial cycle have yet to be fully resolved.Currently, many on a local level understand, and are exposed to, the heat energygenerated by what’s referred to as the urban heat island effect (UHI), whereby naturalflora with higher albedos is replaced by manmade urban areas with lower albedos. This heat effect is notconstrained to these regions and all anthropogenic surfaces with lower albedos needto be studied and quantified as the accumulated additional heat energy (infraredenergy) is trapped within Earth’s atmosphere and could affect the Earth on a planetarylevel. Deployed satellites have detected critical changes to Earth’s albedo to lowerlevels, however the cause and impact of these changes have yet to be fully understoodand incorporated into Global Circulation models (GCMs). Here it’s shown that industrializationof anthropogenic landscape practices of the past century has displaced millionsof square kilometres of naturally high albedo grasslands with lower albedo agriculturallandscapes. Utilising a fundamental Energy Balance Model, (EBM) it’s demonstratedthese specific changes have generated vast amounts of additional heat energy whichis trapped by the atmosphere, transferred and stored within the oceans of the Earthas shown in Figure 1. The total additional heat energy accumulated over thepreceding 110 years correlates to that required to warm the Earth to the levelsseen to date, altering Earth’s overall energy budget. This energy will continueto accumulate and warm the Earth to a predicted 1.60 ± 0.20 Celsius by 2050 over1910 levels. These findings are independent of anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas (GHG)additions and are further validated by predicting Earth’s temperature and albedoat the last glacial maxima, suggesting that an albedo cycle aligned to Gaia theoryis the primary driver of Earth’s natural climate cycle.

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