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The Snowball Effect of Global Warming

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posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 10:35 AM
The delicate energy balance in the Artic is being destroyed and this is foreseen as a synergistic effect towards more global warming. Due to the changing climate, the abundant growth of Artic and tundra vegetation is now decreasing the Earth's albedo. This darker, greener Artic will increase the amount of solar energy being absorbed and compound atmospheric temperatures worldwide.
In a twist to the proverbial snowball effect, warmer Arctic temperatures are stimulating plant growth, which darkens the landscape and causes more sunlight to be absorbed rather than reflected.

"Basically, if tundra is converted to shrubland, more solar energy will be absorbed in the winter than before," Sturm said. And while previous research has shown that warmer temperatures during the Arctic summer enhance shrub growth, "our study is important because it suggests that the winter processes could also contribute to and amplify the rate of the [growth]."

The result: Winter heating could increase by 70 percent, according to a new study.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The effects of global warming seem to be pointing to a greener northern latitude and this could be the precursor to massive human migration patterns into those regions that support a more temperate climate.

Will the Artic become the last refuge for humanity?
Have we passed critical mass to avoid this snowball effect?

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[edit on 9-9-2005 by asala]

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