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More radiation absorbed by the sea as Arctic ice fades - 2nd January

Arctic ice

The melting of the Arctic sea ice is no secret; however, the dangers of this have recently been laid bare following new research which has revealed that the loss of huge areas of the oceans snow cover have made a significant impact to global warming over the past 15 years.

The amount of the sun’s energy being absorbed by the sea has increased due to the increased quantities of ice giving way to water throughout the summer period. The research shows that the impact of the Arctic ice melting is responsible for a 5% increase in the amount of solar radiation the ocean is absorbing during the summer months since the year 2000. This is fuelling concerns that this could lead to greater rises in temperatures and thus even more thawing of snow.

Norman Loeb, of NASA’s Langley Research Centre stated the importance of the 5% increase by identifying that although “a 5% increase may not seem like much, consider the rate globally has remained essentially flat during that same time. No other region on Earth shows a trend of potential long term change.” 

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