ClimateGate news

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Dirty snow?

Are the so-called greenhouse gases taking the heat for dirty snow?

Writing about their findings in the Journal of Geophysical Research, the researchers explained that dirty snow has had a significant impact on climate warming since the Industrial Revolution. UCI scientist Charlie Zender said that in the past 200 years, the Earth has warmed by about 0.8 degrees Celsius and he contends that up to 20 percent of this rise could be attributed to dirty snow.

The effect is more conspicuous in Arctic areas, where Zender believes that more than 90 percent of the warming could be attributed to dirty snow. "When we inject dirty particles into the atmosphere and they fall onto snow, the net effect is we warm the polar latitudes," said Zender. "Dark soot can heat up quickly. It's like placing tiny toaster ovens into the snow pack."


Zender explains that dirty snow is potentially much more of a threat to Arctic areas than greenhouse gases, levels of which have increased by one-third in the last two centuries. "A one-third change in concentration is huge, yet the Earth has only warmed about 0.8 degrees because the effect is distributed globally," Zender said. "A small amount of snow impurities in the Arctic have caused a significant temperature response there."

Zender believes policymakers could use these research results to develop regulations to limit industrial soot emissions and begin switching to cleaner-burning fuels that would leave snow brighter. New snow falls each year, and if it contained fewer impurities, the ground would brighten and temperatures would cool.
And it would be a lot cheaper to clean up emissions of soot than to try to reduce CO2 to Kyoto levels. A lot more effective too.

But then again, Al Gore & Co. wouldn't be able to impose regulations on industry and make billion$ from the carbon cap & trade swindle.

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