October 7, 2020, 10.13 PM

Last month's global mark for the warmest September on record was all the more remarkable because of the regional cooling effect of a naturally occurring La Nina weather event over the tropical Pacific.

Arctic sea ice, meanwhile, shrank to its second-lowest extent last month, slipping below four million square kilometers (1.5 million square miles) for only the second time since satellite records began in 1978, according to C3S.

Read also: Sink or Swim as Rising Sea Levels to Reach 40cm by 2100

The Arctic ice cap floats on ocean water around the North Pole and thus does not contribute directly to sea-level rise when it melts. But it does accelerate global warming.

Freshly fallen snow reflects 80 percent of the Sun's radiative force back into space.

But when that mirror-like surface is replaced by deep blue water, about the same percentage of Earth-heating energy is absorbed instead.

Climate change has also disrupted regional weather patterns, resulting in more sunshine beating down on the Greenland ice sheet, which is melting — and shedding mass into the ocean — more quickly than at any time in the last 12,000 years, according to a study last week.

In 2019, the ice sheet — which holds enough frozen water to lift global oceans seven meters (23 feet) — shed more than half-a-trillion tonnes, roughly equivalent to three million tons of water every day, or six Olympic pools every second. 

(Writer: Marlowe Hood)

Source: http://u.afp.com/3KZb 

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