Yesterday Giz Magazine posted an article about Greenland‘s ice sheet. In recent years, conventional wisdom has been that Greenland’s ice sheet is getting darker due to soot from fossil fuel and/or forest first, possibly resulting in accelerated melting of the ice. Recently, Dartmouth College has come up with a new theory.
The article reports:
Now, however, researchers from Dartmouth College believe that the ice may still still be relatively clean, and that its darkness in the photos could just be due to faulty sensors on the satellites.
Ordinarily, untainted ice sheets reflect much of the sunlight that hits them back up into the sky, limiting how much solar heat is absorbed by the ice. With the Greenland ice sheet, the concern has been that dark carbon particles in the ice are allowing it to absorb more heat, speeding up the process at which the ice will ultimately melt away for good.
Led by Prof. Chris Polashenski, Dartmouth scientists analyzed dozens of snow samples taken from the ice sheet between 2012 and 2014, and compared them to samples taken over the prior 60 years. They reportedly found no significant difference in the amount of black carbon particles or mineral dust in the samples. Additionally, they ruled out algae as the culprit.
The bottom line here is very simple–we don’t control the climate. I believe that as the inhabitants of planet earth we have a responsibility to keep the planet as clean as possible. I also believe that we need to do that in a way that does not hamper our economic growth. Statistically, the countries doing the least polluting are the countries with free market economies and relatively free societies. No company operating in a free market environment wants to kill off its customers. We don’t need to give a world government control of the world’s economy in the name of controlling global warming–individual free countries are quite capable of managing both pollution and their economies.