RENO, Nev., Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Black carbon from industrial development in North America between 1850 and 1950 contributed to warming in Greenland in the early 20th century, research shows.
A report published online in Science magazine said the elevated levels of soot decreased the snow and ice pack's ability to reflect sunlight, and may have resulted in earlier snow melt.
The research, led by Joe McConnell and Ross Edwards from the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nev., was funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA.
The scientists captured and analyzed ice core samples from various regions of Greenland, allowing them to analyze annual deposits of soot and other chemicals going back more than two centuries. By tracking the possible trajectories of major snowfalls events, the researchers concluded that industrial areas of the United States and Canada were the most likely sources of the increased soot levels.
"In order to understand why Arctic climate is changing so rapidly at present, we need to understand how and why it has changed both before and after human activities had an influence on climate,” Edward said Friday in a release.