Ice melt speeds mountain temperature riseAugust 13th, 2008 - 2:04 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, August 13 (ANI): A new research by scientists, through analysis of topography, ice, and free atmospheric change, has found that the melting of ice on mountains speed up their temperature rise.
The research was conducted by N.C. Pepin from the University of Portsmouth, U.K., and
J. D. Lundquist from University of Washington, US.
Forecasting how mountains will respond to climate change requires not only model estimations of large-scale regional warming trends, but also estimates of if and how warming rates vary with elevation.
To study this, Pepin and Lundquist examined temperature records from more than 1000 high-elevation stations across the globe, ranging in elevation from 500 meters (1640 feet) up to 4700 meters (15400 feet).
Through analysis of topography, ice, and free atmospheric change, the authors found that twentieth-century temperature trends are most rapidly seen at elevations where temperatures approach the melting point of ice.
This is because melting exposes darker ground cover, which absorbs more sunlight and enhances further warming.
Because local factors heavily influence temperatures at different mountain sites, the researchers find no simplistic elevational increase in warming rates.
However, they note that water resources and ecosystems near elevations where temperatures approach the melting point of ice are at increased risk from accelerated global warming.
Also, exposed mountain summits, away from the effects of urbanization and topographic sheltering, may provide a relatively unbiased record of the planets climate. (ANI)
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