12 January 2009

Chinese Soot Invasion! US DOE Scientist Warn that Soot Causing Earlier Snowmelt

Scientists have long known that Chinese soot crosses the Pacific Ocean, and contributes to the melting of western North American mountain snow, glaciers, and even northern hemisphere sea ice.
Up to 75 percent of the soot hitting the Western USA is from China, potentially causing 30 percent of regional warming in the Western USA. It's also believed as sooty snowfall is deposited in the American Sierras and Rockies, the dirty snow actually causes earlier snow melts and glacier loss as a result of the increased heat absorption from soot-darkened snow and ice. _Source
A new study by the US DOE's Pacific NorthWest National Lab shows that this Chinese soot combined with local soot from diesel engines can be causing early snowmelt in the Cascades, Sierras, and Rocky Mountains, as well as reducing the snowfall amount -- with adverse consequences.
Overall, doubling the dimming of the snow did not lead to twice as high temperature changes -- it led to an approximate 50 percent increase in the snow surface temperature. The drop in snow accumulation, however, more than doubled in some areas. Snowpack over the central Rockies and southern Alberta, for example, dropped two to 50 millimeters over the mountains during late spring and early winter. The most drastic changes occurred in March, the model showed.

The team also found that soot decreased snow's brightness in two ways. About half of soot's effect came from its dark color. The other half came indirectly from reducing the size of the snowpack, exposing the underlying darker earth. _Eurekalert
This study utilised a computer model to estimate the temperature effects of soot accumulation on snowpack. Similar dynamics is at work on glaciers and sea ice.

Climatology has generally neglected the effect of soot on these phenomena, instead ascribing them to CO2 warming instead. Such errors not only expose much of the climatological mainstream as being sloppy and unscientific, they also send engineers off on wild goose chases, pursuing the wrong strategies to mitigate the effect.

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Blogger neil craig said...

I remember when Concorde first flew in the 1970s the "environmentalists" demonstrated against it on the grounds that the soot it left in the upper atmosphere would block out sunlight & thereby accelerate the then popular global ice age.

I suspect that the various catastrophic effects we are worried about are all an order of magnitude or 2 less than claimed & all cancel out.

Tuesday, 13 January, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Yes. Until the next large asteroid enters our atmosphere.... or the next super-volcano blows its top.

It's usually the one we turned our backs on that gets us in the bum.

Sunday, 18 January, 2009  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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