Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dirty snow melts faster

According to the AP, a new study by Colorado scientists shows that dust stirred up by farming, grazing, mining and recreation in the Four Corners area blew onto the San Juan Mountains and caused the snow to melt 30 days earlier this spring.
Over the last few years, a few storms have brought a thin layer of red snow to the Rockies and front range. I can remember a storm of an inch or two leaving my car covered in a film of red dust after the snow melted.
Apparently, the dark-colored fine sand catches heat from the sun and melts the snow much faster.
Scientists say the dust is caused by farming and grazing in the southwest. Nodoubt part of it, but the Southwest seems to produce plenty of fine red dust without our help. It could be that this has been going on at some level for thousands or millions of years.

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