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knocker

Melt ponds cause the Artic sea ice to melt more rapidly

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I thought you would quite like this GW.

Bremerhaven, 15 January 2013. The Arctic sea ice has not only declined over the past decade but has also become distinctly thinner and younger. Researchers are now observing mainly thin, first-year ice floes which are extensively covered with melt ponds in the summer months where once metre-thick, multi-year ice used to float. Sea ice physicists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), have now measured the light transmission through the Arctic sea ice for the first time on a large scale, enabling them to quantify consequences of this change. They come to the conclusion that in places where melt water collects on the ice, far more sunlight and therefore energy is able to penetrate the ice than is the case for white ice without ponds. The consequence is that the ice is absorbing more solar heat, is melting faster, and more light is available for the ecosystems in and below the ice. The researchers have now published these new findings in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters.

http://www.awi.de/en/news/press_releases/detail/item/meltponds_acclerate_the_melting_of_the_arctic_sea_ice/?cHash=109a868b137bea3b485ca49d85f69190

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It would appear that meltwater transmits 3 times the amount of sunlight than older ice types. This has meant that over the past 5 summers, with the continued decline in older ice types, the Arctic ocean has been recieving more energy. Both earlier in the season through the thinner ice but also over a more extensive area due to the expansion of FY ice. Last years discovery of huge algal blooms may be a reflection of this increase in energy available to the blooms?

We also had a lot of discussion concerning the 'blue ice' early on in the season. The loss of surface topography (no more varied landscape bar the odd lead and pressure ridges) allows both snow and early season melt out to pond so reducing the surface albedo and so s[peeding the melt.

This season again we see a larger portion of first year ice due to the 19% extra open water that expanded last year.

How do we break this cycle?

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How do we break this cycle?

Why would we want to interfere - to impose a completely invented notion of what it 'should' be like there.

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I think the expansions off folk into areas of the far north shows us why , over human history, todays ice/snow levels are a rare event?

Should we hear what science has to say then it is occuring faster than any paleo event we have logged.

From the archeological viewpoint the weapons , up to 16.000yrs old , that we are finding as Canada/North Amwerica's snow patches melt out, we can say it is unprecedented in 16,000yrs?

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