Figure 9: Climate Feedback Loops

Click the image to view and download the full-size version.

The amount of warming that occurs because of increased greenhouse gas emissions depends in part on feedback loops. Positive (amplifying) feedback loops increase the net temperature change from a given forcing, while negative (damping) feedbacks offset some of the temperature change associated with a climate forcing. The melting of Arctic sea ice is an example of a positive feedback loop. As the ice melts, less sunlight is reflected back to space and more is absorbed into the dark ocean, causing further warming and further melting of ice. Source: National Research Council, 2011d

Source: National Research Council. 2011. Graphic Concept by Madeline Ostrander as published in Yes! Magazine.

Leave a Reply