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Amplified greenhouse effect shaping North into South
Date:3/10/2013

BOSTONAn international team of 21 authors from 17 institutions in seven countries has just published a study in the journal Natural Climate Change showing that, as the cover of snow and ice in the northern latitudes has diminished in recent years, the temperature over the northern land mass has increased at different rates during the four seasons, causing a reduction in temperature and vegetation seasonality in this area. In other words, the temperature and vegetation at northern latitudes increasingly resembles those found several degrees of latitude farther south as recently as 30 years ago. The study, titled "Temperature and vegetation seasonality diminishment over northern lands" (DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1836), can be downloaded here: http://dx.doi.org/.

The NASA-funded study, based on newly improved ground and satellite data sets, examines critically the relationship between changes in temperature and vegetation productivity in northern latitudes.

On the amplified greenhouse effect, Prof. Ranga Myneni, Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University and lead co-author says "A greenhouse effect initiated by increased atmospheric concentration of heat-trapping gassessuch as water vapor, carbon dioxide and methanecauses the Earth's surface and nearby air to warm. The warming reduces the extent of polar sea ice and snow cover on the large land mass that surrounds the Arctic ocean, thereby increasing the amount of solar energy absorbed by the no longer energy-reflecting surface. This sets in motion a cycle of positive reinforcement between warming and loss of sea ice and snow cover, thus amplifying the base greenhouse effect."

"The amplified warming in the circumpolar area roughly above the Canada-USA border is reducing temperature seasonality over time because the colder seasons are warming more rapidly than the summer," says Liang Xu, a Boston University doctoral student a
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Contact: Ranga Myneni
ranga.myneni@gmail.com
617-470-7065
Boston University
Source:Eurekalert

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