07 Sep '12, 12am

Science Matters: A worrisome wet wake-up call from the Arctic

Science Matters: A worrisome wet wake-up call from the Arctic

We just don't get it. As ice melts, more of the sun's energy, which would normally be reflected back by the ice, is absorbed by the dark water, speeding up global climate change and warming the oceans. The Arctic is now heating at almost twice the rate as the rest of Earth. There's also the danger that methane could be released as ice and permafrost melt. It's a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide, so this would accelerate global warming even further. Scientists believe methane may also be uncovered by the warming Antarctic. The Arctic ice cap also helps regulate weather, affecting ocean currents and atmospheric circulation. "This ice has been an important factor in determining the climate and weather conditions under which modern civilization has evolved," NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati told Associated Press . A study in the journal Geophysical Resear...

Full article: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2012/09/...

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