HOST: Concerned viewers, welcome to this week’s edition of Planet Earth:
Our Loving Home, featuring our program on the state of Arctic sea ice
and glaciers. The Arctic is the polar crown of our planet, yet the ice
and snow in this precious area are disappearing at an unprecedented rate
due to climate change, which is driven by the production and
consumption of animal products.
These destructive practices are the main source for the human-generated greenhouse gases rapidly heating the globe.
we’ll examine how the beautiful but fragile northern polar region is
vital to life on our Earth and how it affects weather and climate. One
way in which the Arctic plays a key role in regulating global
temperatures is through the ice-albedo effect, by which the area’s
ancient layer of snow and sea ice reflects ８５ to ９０％ of the Sun’s energy
back into space, keeping our planet cool.
Hence, the more ice and snow that are present in the region, the cooler our Earth becomes.
when this cover disappears, the opposite effect occurs, as the dark,
Arctic Ocean and exposed Arctic land absorb the Sun’s energy and cause
planetary warming, which in turn drives more melting and more exposure
of these non-reflective surfaces.
Oceanographer Dr. James
Overland of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory directs research on this
phenomenon and will now provide more details.James(m):
Without ice there to reflect the summer sunlight from the white ice, we
absorb a whole lot more heat from the Sun that the Earth normally used
to not get, and that heat is returned to the atmosphere in the fall, and
that helps set up these highly variable climate patterns.
For more details on the scientists featured in today’s program, please visit the following respective websites:
Dr. David Barber www.UManitoba.ca
Dr. James Hansen www.GISS.NASA.gov
Professor Anders Levermann www.PIK-Potsdam.de
Dr. James Overland