Greenhouse Gas Theory & Arctic Amplification


By Paul Homewood


According to theory, increasing GHG’s should lead to greater warming in the Arctic than elsewhere, a process known as Arctic amplification. There are two main principles underlying this theory:-


1) By far the most powerful atmospheric greenhouse gas is water vapour. Water vapour shares many overlapping absorption bands with CO2 and therefore an increase or decrease in atmospheric CO2 has limited effect on the overall rate of IR absorption in those overlapping regions, if water vapour is present in sufficient quantity. In the Polar Regions , the air is dry due to prevailing low temperatures, allowing CO2 to exert a much greater influence than would be possible in warmer and moister air masses at lower latitudes.


2) The albedo effect. Rising temperatures will usually increase melting of snow and sea ice, reducing surface reflectance, thereby increasing solar absorption, which raises temperatures…

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