All of this is qualitatively clear but quantitatively fuzzy to me. For instance, there seem to be several feedback loops at play:
- warmer oceans -> more glacier calving and underbelly erosion -> higher sea levels -> more glacier calving and underbelly erosion (I don't think underbelly erosion is the right term, but whatever)
- warmer temperatures -> greater surface melt -> warmer ice -> greater surface melt
- more surface melt pools -> lower albedo -> more warming -> more surface melt -> more surface melt pools
- more soot particles in surface -> lower albedo -> greater ice warming -> greater melting -> greater ice warming
- more dark microbes -> lower albedo -> greater ice warming -> greater melt ponds -> more dark microbes
Bottom line: scientists and science media needs to do a better job using holistic models to show what's major, what's minor, and, ultimately, what matters.