How Melting of Arctic Sea Ice Affect Global Warming Essay

1828 WordsNov 26, 20108 Pages
Arctic Sea Melting Enhancing the Effect of Global Warming in High Latitudes The world warmed by about 0.7°C in the 20th century. Every year in this century has been warmer than all but one in the last century (1998). If carbon-dioxide levels were magically to stabilize where they are now (almost 390 parts per million, 40% more than before the industrial revolution) the world would probably warm by a further half a degree or so as the ocean, which is slow to change its temperature, caught up. But CO2 levels continue to rise. All this affect the ice pack in the Arctic. As temperature rises, ice melts. This causes many problems. A change to the reflectivity on the surface of the earth; which is called the albedo, affects the amount of…show more content…
The polar area has been described as a "refrigerator in the equator to pole transport of energy". The NCAR model projects a 3.8 degree Celsius global temperature increase for greenhouse gas doubling, near the high end of typical projections, in part because of shrinking Arctic sea ice. As well as being an area where nutrients are recycled and released into the water, the Polar Front region in the North Atlantic plays a fundamental role in the driving of ocean currents. At the front near the Greenland, Iceland and Norwegian (GIN) seas and the Labrador Sea, warm salty water from the North Atlantic is cooled by Arctic waters and by intense heat loss to the atmosphere; it becomes denser and sinks to deeper layers of the ocean. Salt rejected as sea ice forms also increases the density and contributes to the process. Although a slow process, this sinking takes place over a wide area and each winter several million cubic kilometers of water sink and begin moving slowly south along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. It is known as thermohaline circulation because it is driven in part by temperature and partly by salinity differences. The dense, cooled water becomes part of what is termed the Ocean Conveyor and the water eventually returns to the surface in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. As warm water returns to the Atlantic, the current moves pole wards as the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift, warming northwestern Europe substantially. In addition,

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