A simple model of the patterns formed by ponds could help us make better predictions about how Arctic ice is melting.
Arctic sea ice has been melting faster than expected. One factor that might contribute to this is the way ponds trap heat. When ice melts and forms ponds on the surface of sea ice, it becomes less reflective, trapping more heat and making the ice melt faster. That leads to a positive feedback mechanism: melting creates ponds, which results in faster melting.
Previous studies have shown that the fraction of the …
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