WeatherScience Experiments


Experiments with Elissia: Exploring our albedo

Posted at 4:38 PM, Jul 16, 2020

In today's experiment, we're going to be talking about our albedo.

Thermometer Gun
Black Construction Paper
White Construction Paper

For this experiment, you're going to need a black sheet of construction paper and a white sheet of construction paper. Also some tape and a thermometer.

Albedo is the amount of light that a surface reflects. In this experiment, you're going to learn that a white sheet of paper, reflects more light than a black sheet construction paper.

First, set both sheets of construction paper out in direct sunlight. Now you'll want to let these sit out in direct sunlight for 20 minutes. Now, in the world of weather things like clouds and fresh snow will have a higher albedo, meaning they reflect more light versus a forest or say a blacktop, where he will play basketball.

After 20 minutes are up, let's see, which sheet of paper, do you think will have the warmest temperature? The black sheet of construction paper has a temperature of 93, degrees, our white sheet of construction paper has a temperature of about 80 degrees. And that's about a 10-degree difference.

So when it comes to albedo, remember the darker, a surface is, the more light it's going to absorb or be warmer and the lighter a surface, the more light it will reflect thus, it’s going to be cooler.

Did you try this at home? connect with Meteorologist Elissia Wilson on Facebook.

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