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:3/9/2017)... , March 9, 2017 4Dx has ... World Lung Imaging Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania. ... invited to deliver the latest data to world leaders ... event brings together leaders at the forefront of the ... lung imaging. "The quality of the ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... 2017   HireVue , the leading provider of ... the best talent, faster, today announced the additions of ... and Diana Kucer as Chief Marketing Officer ... team poised to drive continued growth in the company,s ... of record bookings in 2017. "Companies worldwide ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... LONDON , March 2, 2017 Summary ... require to better understand Merck KGaA and its partnering ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/3605601/ Description The Partnering Deals ... into the partnering activity of one of the world,s ... reports are prepared upon purchase to ensure inclusion of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/20/2017)... ... ... SSCI and Whitehouse Laboratories, divisions of Albany Molecular Research, Inc, are looking ... Drug Association (PDA), the New York Interphex Show will open on March 21 and ... 625 exhibitors, the educational and networking opportunities are extremely valuable. INTERPHEX is viewed as ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... ... March 20, 2017 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, a leading ... it will debut a brand new pressure vessel, the intelliVessel™, at INTERPHEX 2017 ... a touch screen panel and features other revolutionary operations that promote safer, more ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... ... March 20, 2017 , ... Existing methods using LC-MS/MS suffer ... to reduce the impact on instrumentation. ICP-MS is a robust and specific analytical ... , This presentation will discuss the pros and cons of using LC-ICP-MS for ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... ... ... The fourth annual Hackaday Prize , which aims to expand the ... lives, launches today. Sponsored by Digi-Key and Microchip , the competition ... prizes to engineers, inventors and tinkerers who “build something that matters.” , The first ...
Breaking Biology Technology: