More rain, less snow leads to faster Arctic ice melt

July 4, 2011

Rising air temperatures in the Arctic region have led to an increase in rainfall and a decrease in snowfall, making the sea ice more susceptible to melting, a new study has revealed.

The research was presented today by Dr James Screen from the University of Melbourne at the XXV International Union of Geodesy and General Assembly in Melbourne.

The is warming more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth.

Dr Screen of the University’s School of Earth Sciences, who led the research, said due to warming temperatures, on more days of the year and in more parts of the polar region, temperatures are becoming too warm for protective snow to form.

“As a result of this temperature shift, we estimate that there has been a 40 percent decrease in summer snowfall over the last 20 years.”
“The reductions in in the summer months (when there is still typically significant snow in Arctic regions) have knock-on effects for the - the ice floating on top of the Arctic Ocean,” he said.

“Snow is highly reflective and bounces up to 85 percent of the incoming sunlight back into space. Snow on top of ice effectively acts as a sunscreen protecting the ice from the power of the sun rays.”

“As the snow cover has decreased, more sea ice has become exposed to the sunlight, increasing the melting of the ice. Measurements show that the sea ice has been getting thinner and less extensive,” he said.

The study was conducted with Professor Ian Simmonds of the University’s School of Earth Sciences was published in the prestigious international journal Climate Dynamics.

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2 / 5 (4) Jul 04, 2011
On this 235th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence:"

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

May the next 235 years be better yet !

With best wishes,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
5 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2011
Stick to the subject. Or better yet, don't post at all.

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