From: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Published October 4, 2017 08:43 AM

Researchers Take on Atmospheric Effects of Arctic Snowmelt

Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute are exploring the changing chemistry of the Arctic’s atmosphere to help answer the question of what happens as snow and ice begin to melt.

The research, led by chemistry professor William R. Simpson, is concerned with the Arctic’s reactive bromine season, which is the period of time when bromine is consuming ozone, producing bromine monoxide and oxidizing mercury.

Reactive bromine events occur during Arctic springtime, when temperatures are low and sea ice is snow-covered. As springtime transitions to summer, with temperatures climbing above freezing and snowpack melting, these events cease and atmospheric bromine quantities become low.

“Atmosphere chemistry really changes when snow melts,” said Simpson. “And earlier melt is changing what is happening in the atmosphere.”

Read more at University of Alaska Fairbanks

Image: Justine A. Burd studies atmospheric chemistry in the Arctic. (Credit: Photo courtesy of William R. Simpson)

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