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Dust in CO snow

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Interesting report on dust in snow in Colorado, aired on NPR this morning.
Here is a link to the NPR website
post #2 of 3
I hate to be doom & gloom...


Particular matter from pollution is partially responsible for the accelerated melting of the snowfield in the Alps, as seen during the last decade.

Diesel powered vehicles, very popular in Europe, are a significant contributor for darkening of the snowpack.

New emission standards for diesels in Europe are seen as a partial solution.

Not only is global warming a scientific and environmental concern, but also "global dimming" from increased dust in the air. Global dimming is the increased cloud cover from dust and pollution. Clouds are formed by moisture and dust, and increased cloud cover will warm the earth at night by holding in heat that would otherwise escape by radiation. Overnight low temperatures are trending upward faster than daytime high temperatures due to this phenomenon.

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/PBS_show_asserts_greenhouse_gases%2C_atmospheric_p ollutants_dimming_future

None of these factors are good for sustaining snowpack on a global basis.

post #3 of 3
If you look at the silver lining (literally) in this cloud, 'global dimming' will eventually lead to a cooling of the planet and a return to a ice age conditions. Of course, that will be thousands of years away and skiing as we know will have ended within the next 50 years.

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