An interaction mechanism between processes in the climate system is called a climate feedback, where the result of one process triggers changes in a second process that influences the initial one.
The climate system is characterised by strong feedback loops between processes that affect the state of the atmosphere, ocean, and land. A positive feedback intensifies the original process, and a negative feedback reduces it.
A simple example is the ice-albedo positive feedback loop whereby melting snow exposes more dark ground (of lower albedo), which in turn absorbs heat and causes more snow to melt.
- The modelling used to produce UKCP09 includes more feedbacks than previous UK climate scenarios. A brief overview of some feedbacks that are included is given in Box 1 of the UKCP09 Briefing report.
Find out more
- IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group 1 report The Physical Science Basis , Chapter 8.6