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I recently read a blog by Jeff Masters at Weather Underground. It was quite interesting. I realized that the Arctic ice sheet is much like the cubes of ice in a glass of iced tea. For a given temperature differential, the ice will melt at the same rate, absorbing the same or similar amount of calories as time passes. But, to the casual observer, the ice is melting faster, it is not, it just that the percentage of ice loss compared to the ice remaining goes up as time passes.

In other words, when we get an ice free Arctic, we can expect to see significant changes the following year because there is no longer any ice to absorb the excess heat.

The question becomes, on an annual basis, are all the ice sheets losing ice, if so, how much?

The reason I ask is this: while the Arctic Ice sheet did not add to the sea level, the land bases ice melt will. That increased sea level will increase the surface area of the sea increasing the evaporation rate. I suspect that one way are another this will have a dampening effect on further warming. At the very least it should make for a wetter climate.

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