Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More on Arctic Soot

On July 31 I wrote this post commenting on the increasing body of evidence that it is soot that is the primary cause of the arctic ice melt (rather than arctic temperatures). Another paper has been published on this topic. The paper is here. Here is a comment on the content of the paper from the AGU.

“Controlling soot may be the only method of significantly slowing Arctic warming within the next two decades,” said Jacobson, director of Stanford’s Atmosphere/Energy Program. “We have to start taking its effects into account in planning our mitigation efforts and the sooner we start making changes, the better.”

There is a genuine concern about the arctic ice: Snow white ice reflects incoming sunlight causing cooling. Darkened ice (due to soot) absorbs the sunlight causing the ice to melt which, in turn, opens up more ocean water which absorbs heat more efficiently than the snow. This could contribute to additional warming.

Hat tip: Roger Pielke, Sr.

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