Alan Werner, professor of geology at Mount Holyoke College, said that decreasing amounts of Arctic snow and ice in summer will lead to a greater degree of heat absorption at the North Pole.
The reason, Werner said, is because the loss of snow and ice makes the earth’s surface less reflective, meaning solar radiation—or heat—is absorbed in greater amounts by the exposed dark ocean or tundra.
“That’s the thing that’s happening very abruptly, or at least in geologic time scales, very quickly,” Werner said. “That the high latitudes are warming at a much faster rate than the other latitudes.”
Werner’s observation follows the announcement in September by the National Snow and Ice Data Center that the surface area of Arctic sea ice had reached a new low in 2012, breaking a previous record reached in 2007.
What the new data suggests, Werner said, is that the Arctic Ocean will likely be free of sea ice during summer in the next few decades, which may trigger significant changes in climate across the globe.
“One thing about humans living on the planet is that we don’t do well with change,” Werner said. “The changes that we’re talking about are changes that are going to be difficult for humans to adapt to.”
Mount Holyoke College is able to support broadcast quality interviews via its dedicated ISDN line and recording studio. For more information, contact John Martins, MHC Multimedia News Manager, at 413-538-2603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Alan Werner, Professor of Geology
Alan Werner | Newswise
Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas
19.07.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events
19.07.2018 | National Science Foundation
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences