Albedo is the proportion of light reflected from the surface. The amount of light reflected is largely determined by the surface color; lighter surfaces reflecting more than darker ones. Human activity can affect the atmospheric albedo as well as the surface albedo.
Warming In Greenland In The Early 20th Century
“New research shows that industrial development in North America between 1850 and 1950 greatly increased the amount of black carbon–commonly known as soot– that fell on Greenland’s glaciers and ice sheets. The soot impacted the ability of the snow and ice to reflect sunlight, which contributed to increased melting and higher temperatures in the region during those years. This discovery may help scientists better understand the impact of human activities on polar climates.”
Image: Sunset over the Atlantic. Courtesy NOAA