Friday, April 29, 2016

Albedo

Albedo (fraction of incident light reflected) is one of the largest feedbacks in the climate system. Snow and ice have high albedo, land and water low. Snow in Alaska and western Canada is predicted to be decimated over the next week. That should tend to warm the Beaufort and Chuckchi sea ice, which is already looking a bit fragile. A good chunk of Siberia is also seeing the snow go. So far, Arctic ice looks really vulnerable. Ice extent is already at record lows for the date, and volume is as low as it was in the record melt year of 2012 - but weather still is going to be the arbiter. TBD