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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dark Snow Project crowd-source funding for Greenland ice sheet research

From: Jason Box;;
Subject: crowdfunding a Greenland expedition to gauge increasing wildfire impact on melt
Date: 30 December 2012 4:46:17 AM NZDT

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Wildfire, increasing with climate change [123], deposits increasing amounts of light-absorbing black carbon [soot] on the cryosphere [snow and ice], multiplying the existing heat-driven ice-reflectivity feedback [a.k.a. albedo feedback].

The relative importance of increasing wildfire [and changing industrial soot pollution] to cryospheric heating remains poorly known. Snow/ice cores down to the 2012 summer soot layer on Greenland input to new field and lab spectral and microscope technology in concert with satellite remote sensing, automatic weather station data, and numerical modeling, could be used to gauge fire's role in amplified Arctic climate change and Greenland ice sheet mass loss.

On the heels of an [open access] publication predicting 100% surface melting on Greenland months before actuality, we're now attempting to launch the first of its kind crowd-funding of an Arctic expedition to Greenland to measure the radiative impact of wildfire and industrial soot from the 2012 (and possibly 2013) fire seasons.

Because we can't precisely measure fire's increasing role in cryospheric change unless we reach our funding goal, please consider:
  1. supporting with a US tax deductible donation via Earth Insight charitable foundation, tax ID 80-0621720 or a check mailed to Dark Snow at Byrd Polar Research Center, Scott Hall Rm. 108, 1090 Carmack Rd., Columbus, OH, 43210
  2. distributing this message in a call for support to those you expect would support Dark Snow Project
  3. following Dark Snow Project on Facebook and Twitter
  4. watching and forwarding Peter Sinclair's awareness and ask video
  5. reading Bill McKibben's Rolling Stone article about Greenland albedo decline
I'm [naturally] beginning to lose sleep as we've generated less than $1000 since launching our crowdfunding drive 3 weeks ago, despite substantial press [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 pointing to our web site] about our 7 Dec, 2012 discovery of smoke clouds reaching Greenland using NASA CALIPSO atmospheric laser data. The fact that this article generated >half of the donations suggests that donors are more politically driven than inspired by new science-fact-infotainment.

Bucking the gatekeeper science tradition, Dark Snow Project is by design an open-science enterprise, soliciting constructive participation from all relevant scientists and communicators. Will you join us? Each step of our work will be communicated using primarily video and social media, but also public speaking, education engagement, and conventional scientific publications aimed at the highest impact journals.

While we are not the first to consider or evaluate the role of black carbon in cryosphere-climate interactions*, we are poised to push the science envelope and amplify its urgent message in powerful new ways relying mainly on video and social media, not conventional science publications nor governmental agency funding.

With happy Holiday wishes, on behalf of the Dark Snow Project collective, 

Jason E. Box, PhD
Byrd Polar Research Center / Geologic Survey of Denmark and Greenland

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