Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Arctic warming linked to combination of reduced sea ice and global atmospheric warming

06.07.2012

The combination of melting sea ice and global atmospheric warming are contributing to the high rate of warming in the Arctic, where temperatures are increasing up to four times faster than the global average, a new University of Melbourne study has shown.
Professor Ian Simmonds from the University of Melbourne’s School of Earth Sciences co-authored the study and said the new information showed this combined effect at both ground and atmospheric level played a key role in increasing the rate of warming in the Arctic.

“Loss of sea ice contributes to ground level warming while global warming intensifies atmospheric circulation and contributes to increased temperatures higher in the Arctic atmosphere,” Professor Simmonds said.

Lead author, Dr James Screen of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne said the sea ice acted like a shiny lid on the Arctic Ocean.

“When it is heated, it reflects most of the incoming sunlight back into space. When the sea ice melts, more heat is absorbed by the water. The warmer water then heats the atmosphere above it,” he said.

Professor Simmonds said as temperatures increase across the globe, so does the intensity of atmospheric circulation.

“This circulation transports energy to the Arctic region, increasing temperatures further up in the atmosphere,” he said.

“Water vapour is a very strong greenhouse gas. As the atmosphere warms it can hold more moisture, which acts as a positive feedback signal, increasing the greenhouse effect. However, in the cold Arctic where there is less moisture in the air, this positive feedback is much weaker hence the ‘direct’ greenhouse effect is smaller in the Arctic than elsewhere.

“Even though the Arctic region has a relatively small greenhouse effect, the effect of the melted ice combined with greater transports of heat from the south are more than enough to make up for this modest ‘local’ greenhouse warming.”

The study was published in the prestigious Geophysical Research Letters and featured in Nature as one of ‘The most viewed papers in science’.

More information:

Louise Bennet
Media Unit
T: +613 9035 3372
M: +61 412 975 350
E: ebennet@unimelb.edu.au

Louise Bennet | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unimelb.edu.au

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Smaller, more frequent eruptions affect volcanic flare-ups
12.10.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht A new global marine environmental forecasting system will serve the public soon
01.10.2018 | Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

Im Focus: Dynamics of individual proteins

New measurement method allows researchers to precisely follow the movement of individual molecules over long periods of time

The function of proteins – the molecular tools of the cell – is governed by the interplay of their structure and dynamics. Advances in electron microscopy have...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

Major Project: The New Silk Road

01.10.2018 | Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physics: Not everything is where it seems to be

15.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Microfluidic molecular exchanger helps control therapeutic cell manufacturing

15.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Link between Gut Flora and Multiple Sclerosis Discovered

15.10.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>