Experts Say New Zealand Glaciers May Be Melting Faster Because Australias Bushfires Turned Them Brown

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The Australian wildfires have sent smoke and ash over to New Zealand’s glaciers. They are now a dirty brown and experts fear this may very well help them melt faster then climate change is already doing.

From New South Wales and Victoria Australia, a jet stream wind runs to New Zealand’s South Island allowing the transport of the bushfires debris according to Meteorologist Michael Guy at CNN.

On New Year’s Day videos and pictures Showing the brownish-yellow haze of the snow on glaciers and mountain peaks in the Southern Alps were taken like the one below.

This photo from January 1st, 2020 shows the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers in New Zealand turned brown from the ash and smoke of Australia bushfires.

Rey, an Australian woman living in Wellington, NZ snapped some of these photos on Fox and Franz Josef glaciers.

“We took a flight up over Fox and Franz Josef glaciers (from Franz Josef township) and landed on a flat surface not too far from the glaciers, not on a glacier per se. The pilot said he had been up the day before and the snow was white,” Rey, who didn’t want to give her full name, told CNN.

“I’m an Aussie living in Wellington NZ on a South Island road trip with my sister who is from rural NSW, so we’ve been following the news closely and feeling pretty devastated.”

Helen Clark a former NZ Prime Minister tweeted about the ash contaminating the glaciers saying it “is likely to accelerate melting.”

Guy explains that it’s a result of the Albedo effect:

“This is when the whiteness of an object reflects radiation away impacting its temperature, thus, areas on the planet that are covered in ice and snow do not absorb the radiation as fast because it reflects it, causing lower temperatures than areas with a lower whiteness value which are quick to absorb the radiation and increase and hold on to the temperatures.”

The glacier may melt faster added Guy “since the color will be a little darker than true white.”

In other areas around New Zealand’s South Island residents awoke to eerie, orange, yellow, and gray skies on New Year’s Day. Many posted to social media.

The ash and smoke from the bushfires will likely have the same effect on the New Zealand glaciers that the Amazon forest fires had on glaciers in the Andes mountains. The particles and pollutants reduce the ability of the glaciers to refract sunlight back and instead absorb far more of it.

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Brandon Kirkwood

Animal Rights Activist (ARA), Vegan, Creator and editor of Vegan News, Father to an awesome cat named Boba, Youtuber

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