Monday, 23 September 2013

Rapidly Melting Sea Ice

The amount of Arctic sea ice has reached its lowest point for the year, and reached an all time low last year. The scary thing is that scientists only predicted these levels of sea ice to be reached in 2050. This means that the effects of global warming are happening faster than anticipated, and it also means that models predicting the sequence of global change are still a long way from being exact. There are important climate feedbacks and components in the climate system that we still don't fully understand. WWF article on Black Carbon

One of the causes being attributed to the rapid melt in Arctic sea ice is black carbon. This is basically particulate carbon, or soot, which is released when wood is burned or in other types of fuel burning. But technologies do exist to reduce the amount of black carbon emissions, which can particularly reduce the amount of black carbon emitted in shipping, which has a direct effect on the Arctic sea ice, as black carbon emitted from shipping falls onto the snow, which absorbs heat, thereby increasing the rate of sea ice melt. Reducing black carbon could have just as great an impact on reduction of global warming as the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. And this is an easier goal to achieve. Paper on the effects of Black Carbon reduction

Here's a video from NOAA explaining how black carbon accelerates Arctic sea ice melt, and could therefore accelerate the effects of climate change:

No comments:

Post a Comment