More Rain and Less Snow Makes for Faster Arctic Sea Ice Melt
04.07.2011 - Atmosphere & Space, Water & Oceans, Ice & Snow, Arctic
A study undertaken by researchers at the University of Melbourne indicate that rising air temperatures in the Arctic have led to an increase in rainfall and a decrease in snowfall, which has made sea ice more susceptible to melting.
Leader of the research Dr. James Screen said with warmer temperatures on more days of the year and in an increasing number of areas in the Arctic, conditions are too warm for snow to form on the surface of the ice. Snow, which reflects 85% of solar radiation back into space, helps protect the sea ice form melting.
Screen and his colleagues estimate that “there has been a 40 percent decrease in summer snowfall over the last 20 years.”