The Guardian reports:
There are several mechanisms that are known to darken arctic ice, including desert dust, pollen, soot from natural forest fires, and human biomass burning for land clearing and domestic use. Industrial, shipping, and aircraft pollution also play a role. Some of these effects are increasing. As climate change accelerates, more areas are being burned by wildfire each year. Box wondered how much increasing wildfires with resulting soot landing on the northern ice might amplify what scientists call a “positive feedback” – a self-reinforcing cycle – increasing Greenland melting. The cycle starts with initial warming, leading to more fires, more soot, and in turn more warming and more melt. The feedback is important, particularly in polar regions where observed warming is twice the rate of more southerly locations around the globe. Box calculates this effect has doubled Greenland surface melting since year 2000.