Dark Snow Project Needs Your Help: Send Citizen Science to Greenland

February 18, 2013

The second video in a series about Dr. Jason Box and his “Dark Snow Project”  – an effort to enlist the power of crowd sourcing and citizen science to pursue some of the most critical issues affecting arctic melt and sea level rise.

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.


Mckibben wrote:

Box had conservatively predicted that it might take up to a decade before the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet melted all at once. That it actually happened in just a few weeks only underscores how consistently cautious ice scientists have been in forecasting the threat posed by global warming. Now, however, that caution is being replaced by well-founded alarm. “Greenland is a sleeping giant that’s waking,” says Box. “In this new climate, the ice sheet is going to keep shrinking – the only question is how fast.”

The new data from Greenland matters for every corner of the planet. Water pouring into the North Atlantic will not only raise sea levels, but is also likely to modify weather patterns. “If the world allows a substantial fraction of the Greenland ice sheet to disintegrate, all hell breaks loose for eastern North America and Europe,” says NASA’s James Hansen, the world’s foremost climatologist.

In this new video, you’ll see Dark Snow team member Dr. Tom Painter of NASA JPL explain his work on dust in the Rocky Mountain snow fields, and Phd student Mckenzie Skiles describe how samples will be obtained – IF a large enough cohort of citizen scientists, activists, and just plain folks go to Darksnowproject.org and kick in a tax deductible donation. Now is a critical moment, as commitments must soon be made for all the moving parts that go into making an expedition work. This science will have to be done – someone will have to do the ground truth sampling to tease out the secret of the ice.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

4 Responses to “Dark Snow Project Needs Your Help: Send Citizen Science to Greenland”

  1. NevenA Says:

    How about asking the WUWT crowd to donate? I’m sure they’d be delighted to know how much soot (and thus not plant grower CO2) is contributing to Arctic melt.

    • ahaveland Says:

      Neven, I think they’re only interested in yellow snow…

      If only I still had a spare $100k to play with, would have made a great working holiday 😦

  2. I. I have (mostly) different views – than author of this blog. But I respect and admire him for his honesty and … is why I like to read what he writes. I would like to help but I’m just a humble worker a government institution in science (and in any country those do not have a high salary).

    II. “If the world allows a substantial fraction of the Greenland ice sheet to disintegrate, all hell breaks loose for eastern North America and Europe,” says NASA’s James Hansen, the world’s foremost climatologist.”

    This is very unlikely.

    Extreme example, why:
    I recommend these interesting reports:
    and http://www.ku-prism.org/polarscientist/losttribes/Jan131897Boston.htm:
    “Greenland was once upon a time a tropical country.”
    „In fact, they disappeared from the face of the earth several millions of years ago, and only their fossil remains are found buried in the strata of the rocks.”
    “Apparently, at that time the climate of Greenland was much like that of the gulf States today. All the evidence seems to point to the conclusion that climates all over the world in that ancient epoch were pretty much the same.”
    “The same plants grew contemporaneously in Greenland and in California, in Spitzbergen and in Virginia.”
    “Eventually arrived the tertiary epoch, which was the last great geological period before that in which we live, which is the quatenary.”

    Arrangement continents – was the same as now. So most likely responsible for this CO2 (although there are many theories – including volcanic – super fire – high quantities BC).
    Interestingly we do not have (at this time) on the Earth no trace of any disaster – extreme events of these times, such as super-hurricanes, super storms, such Sandy, the formation of the great deserts, or signs of extreme floods and droughts.

    As a result of warming of the atmosphere pressure and temperature gradients decreased to nearly zero …

    S. Stanley “Earth System History” (1999, Unfortunately, I explain from my Polish version): “… riddle is [occurring during the hot early Eocene] a small temperature gradient between the equator and the pole.”
    “In the middle Cretaceous [very warm!] with poorly marked temperature gradient, winds over the oceans were generally much weaker than those occurring nowadays …”

    The “of more recent times” – Eemian:
    “The good news from this study is that the Greenland ice sheet is not as sensitive to temperature increases and to ice melting and running out to sea in warm climate periods like the Eemian,as we thought,” explains Dorthe Dahl-Jensen and adds that the bad news is that if Greenland’s ice did not disappear during the Eemian then Antarctica must be responsible for a significant portion of the 4-8 meter rise in sea levels that we know occurred during the Eemian [although it is unlikely – Antarctica has always been more resistant to melting – most likely for the 4-8m difference – Eemian – current times sea level – better corresponds thermal expansion of water and another post glacial rebound – I recommend eg: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/01/the-greenland-melt/ – discussion, and eg: http://academic.emporia.edu/aberjame/ice/lec09/lec9.htm – part “Complicated responses”].

  3. […] If you haven’t heard of the Dark Snow Project, –  get thee to darksnowproject.org, and/or check out the videos above, or  here and here. […]

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