Small ice caps in climate models
Part of the
NATO ASI Series
book series (volume 48)
The presence of ice or snow at the surface of the Earth changes the reflectivity of the system to sunlight. When the planet is made colder by changing some control parameter such as the solar constant, ice caps grow; moreover, the increased reflectivity (albedo) of the ice-covered surface causes an enhancement of the cooling. The effect of the ice-cap growth is to amplify the effects of an externally induced climate change. The ice-clbedo mechanism is a positive feedback in the climate system. The climate system has many feedbacks, positive and negative. They play various roles in forced climate change. This lecture will concentrate on the effects of that one isolated feedback, since in this simplified form the problem becomes tractable and quasi analytical solutions can be found.
KeywordsEnergy Balance Equation Spectral Form Energy Balance Model Induce Climate Change Shallow Minimum
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