Dark Snow

Climatologist Jason Box at the  Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University is hoping to use Kickstarter to raise $150,000 over the next months for his  Dark Snow Project, to help finance an expedition this summer to the “ice dome” of Greenland.

The project website shares:

Dark Snow is a field and lab project to measure the impact of changing wildfire and industrial soot on snow and ice reflectivity. Soot darkens snow and ice, increasing solar energy absorption, hastening the melt of the “cryosphere”.

As of now, Box as raised over $60,000. Wondering what the money will be used for? Box explains that around two-thirds of the money will be spent to rent a plane to transport the team onto the ice sheet. He shares the itinerary:

1. Prepare and gather science equipment including a field spectrometer, snow and ice coring device, and snow metrics kit.
2. Travel to Iqualuit, on Baffin Island, Nunavut from home locales in California, Ohio, Michigan, Vermont and rendezvous with Dash-6 “Twin Otter” ski-equipped airplane and flight crew.
3. Organize cold weather survival kit.
4. Ferry team from Iqualuit to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.
5. Fly to and land at sampling sites high on the inland ice sheet.
6. At each site collect snow samples from a snow pit and obtain snow cores to a minimum depth of the previous year’s snow surface, and record snow properties.
7. Transport of team and snow samples to Greenland’s capital Nuuk, where the team will rest after hustling at field sites.
8. Return to Iqualuit, then to respective home locales to start the data analysis and reporting phase of campaign.

Donations can be made on the expedition’s “Give Now” webpage.


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