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While the melting of Arctic sea ice may have little direct effect on sea level rise, it will substantially reduce the albedo of the Arctic ocean as sunlight will be absorbed by the dark ocean water, rather than being reflected back into space from the bright ice. This is likely to result in a general warming of the Arctic region, which is likely in turn to result in melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which would result in a very substantial rise in global sea levels over the course of a thousand years or so. This means there is a good reason to be concerned about the loss of summer (when albedo really matters) Arctic sea ice from a sea level rise perspective. This is known as ice-albedo feedback, there is a basic discussion on Wikipedia, a slightly more detailed explanation is described here by the NSIDC, a relevant section of the IPCC WG1 report is here and here.

While the melting of Arctic sea ice may have little direct effect on sea level rise, it will substantially reduce the albedo of the Arctic ocean as sunlight will be absorbed by the dark ocean water, rather than being reflected back into space from the bright ice. This is likely to result in a general warming of the Arctic region, which is likely in turn to result in melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which would result in a very substantial rise in global sea levels over the course of a thousand years or so. This means there is a good reason to be concerned about the loss of summer (when albedo really matters) Arctic sea ice from a sea level rise perspective.

While the melting of Arctic sea ice may have little direct effect on sea level rise, it will substantially reduce the albedo of the Arctic ocean as sunlight will be absorbed by the dark ocean water, rather than being reflected back into space from the bright ice. This is likely to result in a general warming of the Arctic region, which is likely in turn to result in melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which would result in a very substantial rise in global sea levels over the course of a thousand years or so. This means there is a good reason to be concerned about the loss of summer (when albedo really matters) Arctic sea ice from a sea level rise perspective. This is known as ice-albedo feedback, there is a basic discussion on Wikipedia, a slightly more detailed explanation is described here by the NSIDC, a relevant section of the IPCC WG1 report is here and here.

    Notice added Citation needed by Oddthinking
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While the melting of Arctic sea ice may have little direct effect on sea level rise, it will substantially reduce the albedo of the Arctic ocean as sunlight will be absorbed by the dark ocean water, rather than being reflected back into space from the bright ice. This is likely to result in a general warming of the Arctic region, which is likely in turn to result in melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which would result in a very substantial rise in global sea levels over the course of a thousand years or so. This means there is a good reason to be concerned about the loss of summer (when albedo really matters) Arctic sea ice from a sea level rise perspective.