How Does Land Cover Affect Global Temperature?
ES1504  Glacial Land Cover Change

This animation shows Lemon Glacier in Alaska during the summers of 1988, 1993, and 2000.

  !   Click the image to see the animation. Examine the images carefully to see how the land covered by the glacier has changed over time. Consider what happens to the albedo of the entire area as the glacier covers more or less land.
S.McGee, Juneau Icefield Research Program.
Terminus of the Lemon Glacier summer in 1988, 1993, 2000.

9. If a glacier melts back (covering less area), would the resulting changes in albedo tend to cause temperatures to rise or fall? Explain.

10. During the last ice age, glaciers covered a much larger area of Earth than they do today. Describe how the increase in albedo caused by more glaciers would have affected Earth's global temperature.

 

 


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