Impacts to Humans

Declining arctic sea ice is a component of enhanced climate change, impacting the lives of people. As the arctic sea ice melts it will form several positive feedback loops such as decreasing albedo, thawing permafrost, and increasing ocean levels. This contributes to an overall increase in global average temperatures, creating countless changes to our planet.

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Albedo is the amount of solar energy reflected from the Earth back into space. Earth has an albedo rate of 30%. Higher albedo is equivalent to an increase in reflectivity that raises temperature in the atmosphere. Low albedo cools the atmosphere giving a positive feedback.

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Methane (CH4) is a naturally formed gaseous chemical compound. It is a green house gas that can be naturally trapped under arctic ice. Due to the increasing rates of sea ice melting, this trapped gas has made its way into the atmosphere (methane is known as atmospheric methane when it escapes into the atmosphere)

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