Ice–albedo feedback

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Albedo change in Greenland

Ice–albedo feedback is a positive feedback climate process where a change in the area of ice caps, glaciers, and sea ice alters the albedo. This change in albedo acts to reinforce the initial alteration in ice area. Cooling tends to increase ice cover and hence increase the albedo, reducing the amount of solar energy absorbed and leading to more cooling. Conversely, warming tends to decrease ice cover and hence decrease the albedo. This increases the amount of solar energy absorbed, leading to more warming.[1] The effect has mostly been discussed in terms of the recent trend of declining Arctic sea ice.

Internal feedback processes may also potentially occur, as land ice melts and causes eustatic sea level rise, and also potentially induces earthquakes as a result of post-glacial rebound, which further disrupts glaciers, ice shelves, etc.

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  1. ^ Deser, C., J.E. Walsh, and M.S. Timlin (2000). "Arctic Sea Ice Variability in the Context of Recent Atmospheric Circulation Trends". J. Climate. 13 (3): 617–633. CiteSeerX doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2000)013<0617:ASIVIT>2.0.CO;2.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)