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Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division
Research Highlights

May 2005

Earth Lightens Up

"Dimming" and "brightening" are terms scientists are currently using to describe trends that have an impact on the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface. Past studies have shown a decreasing trend in downwelling solar energy reaching the Earth's surface occurring since the 1950s through the 1980s, an apparent "dimming" trend. In the May 6 issue of Science magazine, a paper co-authored by a researcher from DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program shows a reversal in the trend starting in the mid to late 80s, resulting in a widespread "brightening" trend.

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