How Does Land Cover Affect Global Temperature?
ES1504  Changes in Arctic Sea Ice

These graphs show temperature, snow depth, sea ice thickness, and the depth of meltwater ponds for a single location in the Arctic ocean through a full year.Examine all three graphs to visualize what the location would look like through the year.

  • During which months was the surface covered with snow?
  • Which months did a meltwater pond form at the surface, leaving it free of ice?
  • How would these changes affect the albedo and surface temperature of the area?
Data estimated from Surface Heat Budget of the
Arctic Ocean (SHEBA), U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Science Foundation's Arctic System Science Program.

7. Describe seasonal changes in the area covered by snow and ice.

8. Areas with high albedo absorb less energy than areas with low albedo. Describe how increasing the portion of Earth's surface covered by snow and ice might change global temperature.


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