Feedbacks - shrinking sea-ice and ocean/air temperatures
The greatest increases in temperature have happened in regions where sea ice has disappeared at the end of summer. This strongly suggests that the reduction in sea ice is itself affecting the air temperature. The surface of the sea absorbs more energy from the sun when it is not covered by ice. The warmer sea warms the air more, especially in late summer, which in turn inhibits ice growth the following winter. This evidence of a positive feedback effect means that complete melting of Arctic sea ice in summer is likely in the next few decades if warming continues as expected.
Citation: AMAP, 2012. Arctic Climate Issues 2011: Changes in Arctic Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost. SWIPA 2011 Overview Report. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Oslo. xi + 97pp
Copyright: AMAP, 2012
Region: arctic ocean