The Ice Albedo Feedback Loop

Another important feedback loop is called the ice albedo effect. As noted above, albedo is the ability of a substance or a body to reflect sunlight. Ice and snow are white, which means that they reflect the sun's rays or, to put it another way, they have very high albedos. In fact, according to geographer Grant R. Bigg, ice and snow have the highest albedos of almost any natural sur-face.10 From 70 percent to 80 percent of the sunlight that strikes ice and snow is reflected back into space. The...