Daily Archives: December 30, 2012

Crowdfunding a Greenland expedition to gauge increasing wildfire impact on melt

A colleague sent this to me, I’m passing it on to you. Looks important and interesting:

Wildfire, increasing with climate change, deposits increasing amounts of light-absorbing black carbon [soot] on the cryosphere [snow and ice], multiplying the existing heat-driven ice-reflectivity feedback [a.k.a. albedo feedback].

The relative importance of increasing wildfire [and changing industrial soot pollution] to cryospheric heating remains poorly known. Snow/ice cores down to the 2012 summer soot layer on Greenland input to new field and lab spectral and microscope technology in concert with satellite remote sensing, automatic weather station data, and numerical modeling, could be used to gauge fire’s role in amplified Arctic climate change and Greenland ice sheet mass loss.

On the heels of an [open access] publication predicting 100% surface melting on Greenland months before actuality, we’re now attempting to launch the first of its kind crowd-funding of an Arctic expedition to Greenland to measure the radiative impact of wildfire and industrial soot from the 2012 (and possibly 2013) fire seasons.

Because we can’t precisely measure fire’s increasing role in cryospheric change unless we reach our funding goal, please consider supporting http://darksnowproject.org/ with a US tax deductible donation via Earth Insight charitable foundation, and distributing this message in a call for support to those you expect would support Dark Snow Project.

The Dark Snow Project is by design an open-science enterprise, soliciting constructive participation from all relevant scientists and communicators. Will you join us? Each step of our work will be communicated using primarily video and social media, but also public speaking, education engagement, and conventional scientific publications aimed at the highest impact journals.

While we are not the first to consider or evaluate the role of black carbon in cryosphere-climate interactions*, we are poised to push the science envelope and amplify its urgent message in powerful new ways relying mainly on video and social media, not conventional science publications nor governmental agency funding.

With happy Holiday wishes, on behalf of the Dark Snow Project collective,

Jason E. Box, PhD
Byrd Polar Research Center / Geologic Survey of Denmark and Greenland