Q:

Does the color of ice affect the rate at which it melts?

A:

Quick Answer

The color of ice has a strong effect on the rate at which it melts. Darker ice absorbs more sunlight and thus melts faster than pure white or lighter-colored ice, which reflects most of the sunlight.

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Full Answer

This effect can be seen on the Greenland ice sheet, which has become dramatically darker over the past decade due to the collection of soot from an increasing number of North American wildfires. The carbon particles in the soot have made much of the ice black, causing it to lose its ability to reflect the sun and dramatically increasing the rate at which it is melting.

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