.. ice ...
.. melting ...
.. arctic multiplier
As everyone with a beer-Esky knows, as long as there's still a bit of ice in it, the beer stays deliciously cool.
Once the ice goes, the beer starts to warm - it's the law! (2nd, thermodynamics; entropy tends to the max. = heat flows from hotter to cooler.) It helps to keep the Esky in the shade; that may slow the warming - but can't stop it.
The *rate* of warming of the ice-free beer is dependent on the temperature difference between outside of the Esky and its inside (and how good the insulation is), but generally, the higher the temperature difference, the faster the warming - which happens a) in high-summer and b) just after the last of the ice melts.
Our once jewel-like planet is warmed by the Sun; the surface is heated during the day, and cools a bit at night - because some heat radiates away into space (*very* cold out there), and the *rate* of heat-flow is dependent on the temperature difference, exactly as in the Esky example. (Same thermodynamics laws, just a slight difference in scale.)
CO2 is a so-called 'green-house' gas; it acts like the Esky insulation, slowing the cooling of the surface out to space.
The warming of the surface by the Sun is different when the Sun is high above, compared to when it's lower - this gives us the summer/winter variation in daily maximum temperatures.
This difference also explains the temperature difference between the tropics (higher sun-angles) and the poles (lower sun-angles), and that difference in turn drives our major weather systems. There is a net flow of heat from the tropics where the highest rate of warming takes place (insolation), towards the poles, where the highest rate of cooling takes place. Previously, it cooled enough to form the more or less permanent Arctic sea ice-cover.
Increasing the CO2 content of the air increases the green-house effect, *more* heat is retained locally = temperatures increase, and that in turn increases the pole-wards flow - basically, giving us more, and more energetic weather (like storms, say). More heat moving = impact on previous, steady-state balance.
The extra pole-ward heat flow starts melting the ice, but the poles stay approximately the same degree of cool - until the last ice melts.
The low sun-angle at the poles, coupled with the Arctic sea ice-cover (reflects sunlight very well) was a steady = equilibrium state.
Now that increasingly more of the Arctic sea-ice is melting in the northern summer, the sunlight that used to reflect away is being absorbed into the now open arctic water - forming a positive feed-back = warming loop...
The scientists *know* about all the above - it's *exactly* their business to so know. Yet the so-called 'climate-change sceptics' - like Abbott - keep yammering = blocking any effective, corrective action - why? ("Abbott one day questions the science and the next declares that man made climate change is a reality.") What's in it for Abbott? Exactly how will he - let alone we, the sheople - benefit from an excess-CO2 caused climate-change catastrophe?
Time running out for climate action: report
By environment reporter Sarah Clarke, wires
Updated May 23, 2011 09:31:00
«The report warns global warming could cause global sea levels to rise up to one metre by the end of the century. (Reuters/University of Colorado: Konrad Steffen)»
Fazit: With the ice gone, the beer starts to warm up... fastest.
excess CO2 pollution
= climate-change catastrophe
.. ice ...