The Loss of Summer Sea Ice in the Arctic

If you were to place Genersys solar panels in direct sunlight at the North Pole in the middle of the Arctic summer, they would receive more energy that the area of sunlight strike the panel emits. They would receive energy bouncing off the ice and snow, so that the “solar fraction” would not be a fraction at all, but a whole number and a fraction. The reason for this is the higher albedo for ice and snow, which are white. This albedo reflects light (which you can think of as energy or as heat) back into the atmosphere and is an important factor in keeping the atmospheric temperature of the earth benign enough to support life as we know it. Continue reading