What would happen if a significant portion of the sea ice floating in the Arctic Ocean were to melt?

A. An increase in the amount of water in the ocean would lead to more coastal flooding.

B. An increase in the absorption of solar energy would lead to warming of the planet.

C. An increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events would lead to more hurricanes.

D. A decrease in the temperature of the ocean would lead to a cooling of the planet.

E. A decrease in the reflection of solar energy would lead to cooling of the planet.

bold = correct answer

Question Identifier: GCI_2011_031
Designed for: Non-Science Majors
Primary Author(s): Dr. Kevin Theissen
Contributing Author(s): GCI Team
Misconception Source: Incorrect response options are based on primary author's research project examining student misconceptions about climate change through hundreds of written responses to questionnaires and face-to-face interviews with students. All of the incorrect response options are examples of student misconceptions from this research, or found in existing literature (option e). The misconception about a significant sea level rise and flooding is especially prevalent in Dr. Theissen's work.
Notes: (none)

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