Arctic Losing Snow And Ice, Absorbing More Heat, Federal Report Says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Arctic and its future are looking dimmer every year, a new federal report says.

In the spring and summer of 2014, Earth’s icy northern region lost more of its signature whiteness that reflects the sun’s heat. It was replaced temporarily with dark land and water that absorbs more energy, keeping yet more heat on already warming planet, according to the Arctic report card issued Thursday.

Spring snow cover in Eurasia reached a record low in April. Arctic summer sea ice, while not setting a new record, continued a long-term, steady decline. And Greenland set a record in August for the least amount of sunlight reflected in that month, said the peer-reviewed report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies.

Overall, the report card written by 63 scientists from 13 countries shows few single-year dramatic changes, unlike other years. It illustrates instead a relentless decline in cold, snow and ice conditions and how they combine with each other. And several of those have to do with how the Arctic reflects sun heat

The Arctic’s drop in reflectivity is crucial because “it plays a role like a thermostat in regulating global climate,” said report lead editor Martin Jeffries, an —> Read More Here


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