Posted on 02/12/2011
November's issue of JGR Atmospheres included a paper on Arctic snow by James France & Martin King and an international team. In the high Arctic during the unusually warm 2006 spring the team measured the reflectivity of snow and the ability of light to penetrate snow. From this they estimated reaction rates between snow and impurities (e.g. nitrate & hydrogen peroxide). These calculations match gas emissions from the snowpack. This reveals that sunlight driven reactions are an important contributor to the atmosphere especially in remote or high-altitude environments.