Showing posts with label snow cover. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snow cover. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Update on Arctic Snow and Ice

Above image, adapted from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), shows that Arctic sea ice extent has roughly followed the same path it did in 2012 when it reached a historic record low. Highlighted on above image is the highest extent the sea ice reached in 2013, i.e. 15,113 million square km on May 14, 2013.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Albedo change in the Arctic

Albedo change: Snow cover on the ice reflects between 80% and 90% of sunlight, while the dark ocean without ice cover reflects only 7% of the light, explains Stephen Hudson of the Norwegian Polar Institute. As the sea ice cover decreases, less solar radiation is reflected away from the surface of the Earth in a feedback effect that causes more heat to be absorbed and consequently melting to occur faster still.

Arctic sea ice volumes keep falling. The image below is from the Polar Science Center's Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS, Zhang and Rothrock, 2003).