A new study has found they dust is also cabable of inducing the melting of polar caps. Like greenhouse gases wheren’t enough, now dust flowing on top of the snowy mountains can cause the snow to melt faster. and this phenomenon is known as the albedo effect.
Dust particles have the capability absorbing sunlight and start heating everything In it’s surrounding. Of course, we’re not referring to small fluff of dust after you hit an ancient object, it has to be a lot of dust that would be able to heat it’s surroundings.
Moving to the albedo effect, albedo is a measure of the diffusion of solar radiation. To summarize, when the dust particles arrive in snowy areas, being darker than snow, they reduce the ability of snow to effect the sunlight, causing it to heat up sooner.
As per study published in nature climate change, another culprit behind melting snow caps are the dust particles blowing hundred of miles from parts of Asia and Africa and landing at highly elevated areas covered with snow, causing it to melt. It is these dust particles that are polluting the snow and reducing its albedo.
Winters have already started losing days as heat continues to take over our planet. With current emissions going at the same rate it predicted that the Arctic will soon start experiencing snow free periods.
This natural phenomenon would not have been as disruptive and alarming as it is now due to the added effects of the greenhouse gases. It is not just the polar ice caps that are falling prey to dust. The Himalayas too are next in line.
An estimated 5 billion tons of desert dust appears into earths atmosphere every year and some of it makes its way to the Himalayas and accelerates snowmelt, according to study by scientists at UCLA.
The snow is melting, and scientists are trying to find a solution to this. Do you think they can find one in time?