Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Three-decade decline in reflectivity of Arctic sea ice

Date:
August 8, 2013
Source:
Finnish Meteorological Institute
Summary:
The reflectivity of Arctic sea ice, or albedo, regulates the solar radiation balance. A diminishing albedo affects the melt rate of Arctic sea ice.

The reflectivity of Arctic sea ice, or albedo, regulates the solar radiation balance. A diminishing albedo affects the melt rate of Arctic sea ice.

Related Articles


According to a study done by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the albedo (reflectivity) of Arctic sea ice has declined over the past three decades. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change on 4 August 2013. During summer months, the albedo in the Arctic sea ice zone regulates the radiation balance in the region, which is why albedo is crucial to the Arctic climate. A decline in albedo means that a greater percentage of solar radiation energy is absorbed by the ice, thus accelerating its melt rate.

The study examined a 28-year time series (1982-2009), which was composed of measurements taken by weather satellites passing over the polar region. The time series was produced in the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (EUMETSAT CM SAF) project. The Finnish Meteorological Institute is a partner on the project, overseeing development of the albedo time series.

The trends revealed by the data were clear: The average albedo in the northern area of the Arctic Ocean, including open water and sea ice, is declining in all summer months (May-August). This is primarily due to a shrinking of the ice cap. When the analysis was confined to the area covered by ice, an equivalent decline in albedo was found during June-August. This means that the average reflectivity of remaining sea ice has also declined during the study period. The rate of decline in albedo in the sea ice zone during August was approximately 3% per decade.

The study also determined what factors had the greatest impact on the decline in sea ice albedo. The findings revealed that a reduction in ice cap concentration was the most significant factor. Other major factors were an increase in air temperatures and longer melting periods. A diminishing albedo in Arctic sea ice can be considered both the cause and effect of changes in sea ice.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Finnish Meteorological Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aku Riihelδ, Terhikki Manninen, Vesa Laine. Observed changes in the albedo of the Arctic sea-ice zone for the period 1982–2009. Nature Climate Change, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1963

Cite This Page:

Finnish Meteorological Institute. "Three-decade decline in reflectivity of Arctic sea ice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130808091924.htm>.
Finnish Meteorological Institute. (2013, August 8). Three-decade decline in reflectivity of Arctic sea ice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130808091924.htm
Finnish Meteorological Institute. "Three-decade decline in reflectivity of Arctic sea ice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130808091924.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins