Impact of disturbed desert soils on duration of mountain snow cover
Article first published online: 23 JUN 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 12, June 2007
How to Cite
2007), Impact of disturbed desert soils on duration of mountain snow cover, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L12502, doi:10.1029/2007GL030284., , , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 23 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 23 JUN 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 4 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Received: 7 APR 2007
- radiative forcing;
 Snow cover duration in a seasonally snow covered mountain range (San Juan Mountains, USA) was found to be shortened by 18 to 35 days during ablation through surface shortwave radiative forcing by deposition of disturbed desert dust. Frequency of dust deposition and radiative forcing doubled when the Colorado Plateau, the dust source region, experienced intense drought (8 events and 39–59 Watts per square meter in 2006) versus a year with near normal precipitation (4 events and 17–34 Watts per square meter in 2005). It is likely that the current duration of snow cover and surface radiation budget represent a dramatic change from those before the widespread soil disturbance of the western US in the late 1800s that resulted in enhanced dust emission. Moreover, the projected increases in drought intensity and frequency and associated increases in dust emission from the desert southwest US may further reduce snow cover duration.