Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition (ICCE): Black Carbon Measurements from the Dinwoody Glacier, The

Tomme, Lane
Greenwald, Alexander
Mrak, Eli
Reilly, Connor
The impacts of climate change on glacial ice melt have become steadily more pressing over the past several decades. Increased average yearly temperatures have contributed to the recession of glaciers world-wide, and water resource managers are concerned about the implications for surface water availability. Black carbon particulate has been documented in South America as a contributing factor to accelerated melt-working in concert with rising temperatures to reduce the ice mass and volume of tropical glaciers. Black carbon is non-decomposed particulate that results from the burning of agricultural and forest lands, and from other chemical exhaust sources. These particles reduce albedo in the snowpack, increase energy absorption, and accelerate glacial ice melt. The black carbon data set for glaciers of the Wind River Range of Wyoming is incomplete at best. In August 2014, student researchers from the Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition (ICCE) collected and analyzed 14 snow samples from the Dinwoody glacier in the Fitzpatrick Wilderness. Results indicated an average of 30ng of black carbon per gram of water – fairly typical North American snow pack values, but potentially high for such a remote location. Research will continue in 2015 with additional subsurface sampling and resampling of 2014 sites.
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