Snow Remote Sensing

2168 Words9 Pages
1. Introduction The significance of this topic is to show the relationship between monitoring the Polar Regions using remote sensing techniques and the effects of climate change. The effect of climate change does not occur evenly around the world; some places warm faster than others. The Arctic and other Polar Regions are good examples of areas that are warming faster than other areas. The Earth’s average temperature has risen 0.6°C, while areas in the Arctic have risen up to 3.0°C in the last 20th century (Gardiner, 2008). Increasing temperatures have already caused changes in the Arctic such as; sea ice covering the Arctic has decreased in area and thickness due to melting of ice and snow, the warming of permafrost, snow cover area has also decreased, and ice on the rivers will freeze later during fall and break up earlier in spring. But why are these Polar Regions more vulnerable to climate change? This is due to the light colour of snow and ice and high albedo, which reflects the solar energy back into space. Due to the increase in greenhouse gases less solar energy is reflected back into space and more solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth causing the increase in ice and snow melting (Main & Ahlenius, 2011). With this background information the change of climate conditions such as, snow, rain, winds, and temperature is continuously happening all around the world and will continue to worsen in the future. A good indication of climate change is to look at the melting of glaciers and the Polar Regions as the Arctic is one of the fastest warming regions of the world. However, since the Polar Regions are so big and cold it would be impracticable for humans to live and carry out research there. Therefore, by using applications of remote sensing we can easily observe inaccessible areas from satellites to effectively monitor and map snow and ice cover in Polar
Open Document