15 March 2006

Sea Ice Retreat Continues



This is the second year in a row that there has been a decline in sea ice. For the uninitiated, this is bad news because it creates a positive feedback loop. Ice and snow are white, and so reflect sun's heat. This makes the planet cooler. Water absorbs more heat than ice, creating a net increase in temperature. This whiteness factor is called albedo, which is latin for whiteness.

Less ice and snow=more heat absorption=even less ice and snow=even more heat absorption=well, you get the idea.

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