Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's Warming the Arctic?

Scientists are beginning to get a clearer picture of why temperatures in the Arctic are increasing so much faster than in the rest of the planet.

It's really a combination of three things. The loss of the ice cap reduces the reflection of sunlight and increases light absorption into the darker sea. The associated effect is a warming of the Arctic sea water which warms the surface air. The warming sea water also increases evaporation which generates the powerful greenhouse gas - water vapour.

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