Black Carbon Pollution Increasing Antarctic Snowmelt, Study Says

"Pollution generated by burning fossil fuels causes snow to darken, absorb more solar energy and melt faster"

"Black carbon pollution from tourism and research activities in Antarctica is likely increasing snowmelt on the continent by an estimated 83 tonnes for each visitor, according to new research.

Scientists have estimated that the black carbon produced by vessels, planes and diesel generators results in 23mm of additional snowmelt each summer in the most frequently visited areas of the ice-covered landmass.

More than 74,000 tourists visited Antarctica in the 2019–2020 season, nearly double the figures from a decade ago.

A team of researchers sampled the snow yearly between 2016 and 2020 at 28 sites spanning 2000km from Antarctica’s northern tip to the Ellsworth Mountains."

Donna Lu reports for the Guardian February 22, 2022.

Source: Guardian, 02/23/2022