Research anticipates Arctic to be 50% greener in coming decades

As per a study published in journal ‘Nature Climate Change’:
A research team including scientists from the Museum, AT&T Labs-Research, Woods Hole Research Centre, Colgate University, Cornell University, and the University of York has  projected that wooded areas in the Arctic could increase by as much as 50% over the next few decades.
They used developed models that statistically predict climate scenarios for the 2050s to explore how this trend is likely to continue in the future. The models disclose the possibility for massive redistribution of vegetation across the Arctic under in future and a massive increase in tree cover.
What would be the effect of this increase in greening in Arctic ? 

  • The researchers found that a phenomenon called the “Albedo Effect“, based on the reflectivity of Earth’s surface, would have the greatest impact on the Arctic’s climate.
  • When the Sun’s radiation hits snow, most of it is reflected back to space, but when the Sun’s radiation hits an area that’s “dark,” or covered in trees or shrubs, more sunlight is absorbed in the area and temperature increases.
  • This has a positive feedback to climate warming: the more vegetation there is, the more warming will occur.

What is Positive Feedback ?

  • A process in which the effects of a small disturbance on a system include an increase in the magnitude of the disturbance i.e., A produces more of B which in turn produces more of A. Thus, Positive feedback tends to cause system instability.

Cyclic process of Positive Feedback:
A -> (causes) more of B -> (leads to) more of A




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