In several months the Arctic will begin to thaw. Perhaps nowhere on Earth is the transformation between seasons so extreme as in the Arctic, especially in the spring.
Land that was frozen and snow-covered emerges to become tundra brush or grasslands or snow-free forest. The timing of this change is critical to Earth’s overall health, as snow and ice reflect solar energy back into space, effectively air conditioning the planet.
This climate cooling is greatest in the spring (March to June), when sunlight returns to the Arctic and the snow and ice have only just started melting. For this reason, any changes in spring snow and ice cover have a greater impact on Earth’s climate than changes at other times of the year.
Image courtesy of NASA.