Here's a link to Jason Box 2012 analysis of albedo over the Greenland ice sheet. The reduction of the albedo is a critical factor for enhancing melting over the Greenland ice sheet. The image on the left shows the ice sheet albedo time series updated through July 2012 by Jason Box. 

To better understand the importance of this mechanism you can check a recently published paper on the Cryosphere Discussion by Box et al. (2012) in which we focus on this problem or another paper (Tedesco et al., 2011) that we published on Environmental Research Letters focusing on the role of albedo and accumulation on the 2010 melting recording in Greenland. Both papers are also available in the Scientific Literature section of this site. 



08/17/2012 5:41pm

Air in contact with the Geenland Ice Sheet is cooled and sent in density currents (Katababic winds) down slope. This air has to be replaced from somewhere. In the mean time we have more and more open water on the nearby ocean with ever increasing humidity. The August 6 storm which formed over Alaska but only gained strength as it moved over the ocean and achieved 964hPa is an indication of how much power comes from this open water. Could we be seeing a "Walker Cell" developing between the rising air over the open Arctic ocean and the falling air over the Greenland Ice Sheet. This, for a number of reasons, would be strongest in the fall.


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