Loss of Arctic ice is effectively doubling mankind’s contribution to global warming, ice scientist Professor Peter Wadhams has told BBC Newsnight.
White ice reflects more sunlight than open water, acting like a parasol.
Melting of white Arctic ice, currently at its lowest level in recent history, is causing more absorption.
Prof Wadhams calculates that this increased absorption of the sun’s rays is “the equivalent of about 20 years of additional CO2 being added by man”.
The Cambridge University expert says that the Arctic ice cap is “heading for oblivion”…
The polar ice cap acts as a giant parasol, reflecting sunlight back into the atmosphere in what is known as the albedo effect.
But white ice and snow reflect far more of the sun’s energy than the open water that is replacing it as the ice melts.
Instead of being reflected away from the Earth, this energy is absorbed, and contributes to warming…
— excerpts from “Arctic Ice Melt ‘Like Adding 20 Years of CO2 Emissions’” by Susan Watts writing for BBC (Sep. 5, 2012)