Navigation Links
Scientist measures role of science's coolest player: The snow

What would the Earth be like if one fine day all the snow melted away?

Obviously, it would be a much warmer place. But what's interesting is how much warmer, says Stephen Vavrus, an associate scientist at the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Working with computer-generated simulations, Vavrus found that in the absence of snow cover, global temperatures would likely spike by about eight-tenths of a degree Celsius. That increase represents as much as a third of the warming that climate change experts have predicted, should levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases double.

"This was not just a what-if question," says Vavrus, whose work comes amidst mounting reports on the steady melt of Arctic ice. "I wanted to quantify the influence of global snow cover on the present-day climate because that has relevance for the type of climate changes we are expecting in the future." Vavrus will discuss his findings today during the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (Dec. 5-9, 2005).

Vavrus, a climate modeling specialist, digitally simulated a snow-free world, and measured the impact of missing snow cover on a range of climatic variables including soil temperatures, cloud cover, atmospheric circulation patterns and soil moisture levels.

Aside from his temperature-related projections, Vavrus also made the counterintuitive finding that in the absence of snow, total regions of permafrost-the permanently frozen soil of the cold north-are likely to expand in area. Without the insulating effect of snow, in other words, soils in colder regions of the world are in fact likely to get much colder. The surprising result has implications for the health of permafrost-associated ecosystems, and may influence decisions in the field of construction.

Already, permafrost changes have triggered structural problems in Alaskan buildings and roadways, says Vavrus, and "there's every reason to think we'll see even str onger effects in the future," he adds.

In forthcoming simulations, Vavrus plans to continue exploring the effects of both nearby and faraway snow cover on local climate conditions.


'"/>

Source:University of Wisconsin-Madison


Related biology news :

1. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
2. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
3. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
4. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
5. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
6. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
7. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
8. Scientists decipher genome of fungus that can cause life-threatening infections
9. Scientists discover the cellular roots of graying hair
10. Scientists rid stem cell culture of key animal cells
11. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/8/2017)... BEDFORD, Mass., Feb. 7, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... services, today reported financial results for its quarter and year ... fourth quarter of 2016 was $3.9 million compared to $6.9 ... the fourth quarter of 2016 was $0.6 million compared to ... in the fourth quarter of 2016 was $0.5 million, or ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... WARSAW, Ind. , Feb. 7, 2017 ... global leader in musculoskeletal healthcare, will present at the ... Lotte New York Palace Hotel on Wednesday, February 15, ... A live webcast of the presentation can be accessed ... for replay following the conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... Fla. , Feb. 2, 2017   ... a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company specializing in the development ... for the treatment of cancer and metastatic disease, ... scale-up and GMP manufacturing of a second clinical ... vaccine targeting folate receptor alpha. The manufactured vaccine ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/20/2017)... YORK , Feb. 20, 2017 This report ... by the following Product Types: Xylanase, Amylase, Cellulase, and Others. ... Canada , Japan , ... Latin America , and Rest of World. ... Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... PuraCath Medical, ... with peritoneal dialysis, announced today that it has published the result of its ... Peritoneal Dialysis International (PDI), the official Journal of the International Society for ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... Kurzlehrgang mit Fokus auf ... Poster legt metaproteomische Analyse des Darm-Mikrobioms bei Säuglingen dar   ... ... Yoav Peretz , Scientific Director bei ImmuneCarta, einen ... zum Nachweis intrazellulärer Zytokine bei adoptiven Zelltherapie-Studien im Rahmen ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... , Feb. 17, 2017  BioGenex, a ... announce development of a novel system for quantitative ... with the University of Rochester (NY, USA) and ... The new system is able to accurately quantify ... HER2 (Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) in clinical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: