Haze Is Heating Up The Arctic
- Haze Is Heating Up The Arctic
by Staff Writers
Salt Lake City (UPI) May 11, 2006
U.S. scientists in Utah say they have found yet another contributing
force to polar warming: haze. Arctic climate already is known to be
particularly prone to global warming caused by greenhouse gases.
Now, a University of Utah study finds the Arctic haze -- consisting
of particulate pollution from midlatitude cities -- mixes with thin
clouds, enabling them to become more efficient at trapping heat.
The effect makes the Arctic up to 3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer during
polluted, cloudy episodes than it would be if the air was clean,
concludes the study by Tim Garrett, an assistant professor of
meteorology, and doctoral student Chuanfeng Zhao.
Arctic haze has been observed since the Industrial Revolution began
Garrett said the particulate pollution modifies clouds so they warm
the surface. He said the effect is most pronounced during the Arctic
winter when it is dark and there is no sunlight. That's when the
Arctic is most polluted because there is almost no precipitation to
wash out the pollutants, and there also is a strong inversion.
The study previously appeared in the April 6 issue of the journal
Source: United Press International