North Slope – Dirty Snow?

More Alaska stuff today: we thought you’d like to see some winter-time imagery of the oil drilling and processing infrastructure up on the North Slope. The otherwise featureless plain of snow and ice is marked by brown halos surrounding many of the roads and facilities. Check out all the images here.

This appears to be caused by traffic or diesel-powered equipment, stirring up clouds of dust and/or depositing soot. If so, it’s an interesting illustration of a recently recognized problem: this “dirty snow” absorbs more heat from the sun, turbocharging global warming and accelerating climate change from the Rockies to the Arctic.