Dust Causing Early Mountain Snowmelt

snow, mountain, desertAccording to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found an increasing number of desert regions across the globe is creating more dust.  In turn, this dust covers winter snows on mountains absorbing sunlight that white snow would otherwise reflect.  This absorption of sunlight appears to be changing the timing of the snowmelt, causing snow to melt too early, before the weather has changed enough to stimulate plant growth.  Researchers are very concerned about the impact of early melting on alpine meadows.  They worry that it will reduce the abundance of resources found in spring & early summer and will also create intense scarcity as the seasons progress.  For more information, see ScienceNews.

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