How Ice loss will add 0.4 degree Celsius to global temperatures?

The recent research, published on October 24, 2020, highlighted about the danger of Vicious Circle and stated that the loss of billions of tonnes of ice from Earth’s frozen spaces might increase the global temperatures by  0.4 degrees Celsius.

Highlights

  • As per the report, Arctic summer sea ice levels is being declined by 10% each decade since 1970s.
  •  Mountain glaciers have melted roughly 250 billion tonnes of ice annually in the recent years.
  • Ice loss from the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets is accelerating.
  • Antarctica and Greenland have enough frozen water that can boost oceans’ height by 60 meters.

How Ice Loss will contribute to Global Temperature?

Scientists from the Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have found that the melting of Arctic ice, mountain glaciers and the polar ice caps will raise temperatures by 0.4C at the current levels of the atmospheric CO2.  The primary reason of the increase in the temperature because of ice loss is because of Ice – albedo effect. In the Ice- albedo effect, change in the area of ice caps, glaciers, and sea ice hampers the albedo and surface temperature of a planet. Since, Ice is reflective in nature, some of the solar energy is reflected back. However, if the warm temperatures decrease the ice cover and the area is replaced by water or land the albedo will decrease. This in turn increases the amount of absorbed solar energy and thus, causes more warming. Further, receded ice increases the water vapour in the atmosphere. This increasing the greenhouse effects and thus, the global temperature rises.