Albedo of melting polar ice, artwork

Albedo of melting polar ice, artwork

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Credit: NASA/GSFC/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Albedo of melting polar ice. Image 1 of 3. Artwork showing the Sun's light being reflecting from the Earth's surface by Arctic ice. The ice's albedo is the extent to which it diffusely reflects sunlight. As the polar ice melts due to global warming, its albedo decreases. This means that less sunlight gets reflected into space and is absorbed into the oceans and land, which raises the overall Earth temperature and fuels further melting of the ice. For the effect of retreating ice mass in the Arctic region on sunlight reflection, see images E402/186 - E402/188.

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