Climate Emergency Film Club – Albedo
- Joellen Russell, PhD (Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair of Integrative Science and Professor at the University of Arizona in the Department of Geosciences)
- Sarah Zhou Rosengard, PhD (Assistant Professor of Environmental Chemistry, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
The reflectivity of snow and ice at the poles, known as the albedo effect, is one of Earth’s most important cooling mechanisms. But global warming has reduced this reflectivity drastically, setting off a dangerous warming loop: as more Arctic ice and snow melt, the albedo effect decreases, warming the Arctic further, and melting more ice and snow. The volume of Arctic ice has already shrunk 75% In the past 40 years, and scientists predict that the Arctic Ocean will be completely ice-free during the summer months by the end of the century.