The standard line is that ice reflects light well, so losing the ice caps means the Earth will absorb more sunlight, and global temperatures will increase. But it seems to me that removing the ice caps would cool the Earth. Can anyone point out a flaw in the following reasoning? If the polar regions are staying at roughly constant temperatures, that means the heat flows into and out of the poles are equal. Heat flows into the poles through sunlight and from the warmer parts of the globe. Heat flows out only through radiated energy. So there must be more radiated energy being emitted by the poles than absorbed. Emission and absorbtion of light are directly related, so that if ice is a poor absorber of radiation, it must also be a poor emitter of radiation. So if the ice is melting, both the absorbtion and emission of light from the poles will increase. But if there's more radiation being emitted than absorbed, increasing those things would lead to a net increase in heat lost from the Earth, cooling us off. I assume all the scientists saying the melting ice caps will contribute to global warming know what they're talking about, but I've never heard anyone address this issue. What am I missing?