US space agency NASA is conducting its unprecedented campaign to monitor the ice loss in the Arctic sea in full swing in September.
The American space agency started the monitoring campaign under the name ‘Arctic Radiation Ice-Bridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE)’, which commenced on August 28 and will continue till October 1. NASA officials say both the dates were selected as the duration is considered to be the peak time frame when the Arctic summer ice cover melts.
“A wild card in what’s happening in the Arctic is clouds and how changes in clouds, due to changing sea-ice conditions, enhance or offset warming,” Bill Smith, main investigator of ARISE in Langley Research Center at NASA, said in a statement.
The campaign is the first airborne mission of its kind surveyed over the Arctic sea by NASA.
During the air surveillance campaign, NASA will measure ice and cloud cover over the Arctic region. Also, the mission will keep a track on the incoming and outgoing solar radiation.
Talking about the ARISE mission, the NASA officials said that it aims to construe how the ice melt is associated with cloud formation in the Arctic region.
According to the scientists, the correct idea of the amount of sea ice reduction is important to known in the Arctic region as more and more melting of ice pack can further accelerate the global warming in the region because of the Albedo Effect, which is the amount of light reflected from the surface of the Earth.
Scientists explain the darker regions on the planet like the ocean can absorb solar radiation and contribute to making the region warmer. In contrast, the lighter areas having dense cloud cover and the ice caps have the potential to reflect incoming light and contribute to cooling effect.
The environmentalists and climatologists said that the Arctic summer ice loss has exceeded over the past few years from the normally observed melt rate. According to the scientists, the exposure of the surrounding ocean has led to the high melting rate that is slowly eating away the ice pack of the North Pole.