Sampling Greenland: The Dark Snow Project

January 6, 2013


Over the past decade, the Greenland ice sheet has been getting darker and less reflective, absorbing more solar energy. This past summer a record-breaking melt extended over the entire surface area of the ice sheet.

Greenland expert Jason Box has been studying and publishing about this phenomenon, and has become concerned about the possible role of increasing wildfires worldwide in the deposition of soot on ice sheets.

The only way to nail the science is to go to the top of the ice sheet and take samples.

Dr. Box, along with Bill Mckibben and myself, is kicking off the Dark Snow Project - to  raise funds for what we hope will be the first independent, crowd sourced scientific expedition to the arctic.

This is part one of a two part video upload to kick off the new year. See the second video below.

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18 Responses to “Sampling Greenland: The Dark Snow Project”

  1. rayduray Says:

    Here’s a question for those who have been studying the Greenland ice for a while. NASA’s Earth Observatory is showing the current conditions in southern Greenland:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=80082

    My curiosity regards the open water in most of the fiords in this photo. Would this have been typical 40 years ago? I have a sense from some of my reading that these fiords would have by-and-large been ice covered by this time of year in the past. This is the indication from natives who have relied upon competent sea ice in the past for their hunting expeditions which are now imperiled by open water.


  2. [...] Over the past decade, the Greenland ice sheet has been getting darker and less reflective, absorbing more solar energy. This past summer a record-breaking melt extended over the entire surface area…  [...]

  3. witsendnj Says:

    Uh huh. Well, while ya’ll are at it, you might want to factor in the the fact that wildfires are increasing and becoming more fierce because all the trees and other vegetation are dying at an incredibly fast rate – from ozone pollution.

    Just sayin’.

    • astrostevo Says:

      Ozone pollution? Really? Citation needed.

      From what I gather major causes of forest diebacks have been acid rain, fungal diseases (eg,. Dutch Elm disease, one that’s now affecting ash trees in England and northern Europe according to a recent news story) and environmental stresses linked to Human Induced rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) such as droughts, heatwaves, floods, storms etc ..

      Also if you saw the youtube clip – I think they did kinda mention that forest fires factor.

    • astrostevo Says:

      O3 is apparently good in the stratosphere but not so good in the troposphere granted.

  4. rayduray Says:

    THE 2012 GOLDEN HORSESHOE AWARD – David Rose of the Daily Mail

    http://planet3.org/2013/01/06/the-2012-golden-horseshoe-award-david-rose-of-the-daily-mail/

    Blurb: “Following on a tradition started by Peter Gleick, this is an attempt to review the most misleading climate stories of 2012. As suggested by Eli, we will rename this from the “Bad Science” (or “BS”) award to the “Golden Horseshoe Award”.”

  5. rayduray Says:

    So. Snow. Less of It. Every Decade. So says NASA’s Earth Observatory:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=80102

    Blurb: “In the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, snow typically covers the land surface for nine months each year. The snow serves as a reservoir of water, and a reflector of the Sun’s energy, but recent decades have witnessed significant changes in snow cover extent. Studies of snow cover published in Geophysical Research Letters and the Arctic Report Card: Update for 2012 found that, between 1979 and 2012, June snow cover extent decreased by 17.6 percent per decade compared to the 1979–2000 average.”

    But there’s still Antarctica! Which if it continues as a mass attractor while the Northern Hemisphere goes on a no-frozen-water diet could do some very interesting things to the rotational balance of this planet. Got wobblies? :)


  6. [...] Sinclair, of Crock of the Week fame, recently announced the launch of the Dark Snow Project (which is currently less than halfway towards it funding [...]


  7. [...] 2013/01/06: PSinclair: Sampling Greenland: The Dark Snow Project [...]


  8. [...] By coincidence, after writing this up but before posting it, I heard from Peter Sinclair ofClimate Crocks, a website which debunks denialists. He is starting a project with two others to measure the amount [...]


  9. [...] In the first video we heard from Bill Mckibben, whose article in Rolling Stone jumpstarted interest in Dr Box’s research. Following the shocking melt over nearly the full surface of the Greenland ice cap in July, 2012, it was clear that Dr. Box and his team had published a stunningly prescient paper, predicting melt over the whole surface of Greenland, within 10 years – What was stunning is that the melt materialized mere days after the paper came out. [...]


  10. [...] In the first video we heard from Bill Mckibben, whose article in Rolling Stone jumpstarted interest in Dr Box’s research. Following the shocking melt over nearly the full surface of the Greenland ice cap in July, 2012, it was clear that Dr. Box and his team had published a stunningly prescient paper, predicting melt over the whole surface of Greenland, within 10 years – What was stunning is that the melt materialized mere days after the paper came out. [...]


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