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Human-induced Climate Change

Posted by feww on February 25, 2008

“Dust fall” in the West in the last 100 years is up to seven times heavier than at any period in history.

Human activities such as settlement, railroad, industry, farming and ranching has caused a huge increase in the dust levels in the air, according to a report by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

canyonlands-dust.jpg
A dusty scene near Canyonlands in Utah. Dust in the West has increased by 500 percent since the 1800s. [Photo Credit: Jason C. Neff, University of Colorado at Boulder. NO copy restriction. Source: eurekalert ]

“The chemical composition of the dust is changing. And it’s changing in a way that we actually see the byproducts of both industrial activity and agricultural activities in the dust. We see elevated phosphorous and we see elevated nitrogen in these lake sediments,” said Neff of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who led the study.

According to another study, published in January, human-caused climate change has altered river flows, snow pack and air temperatures.

“The dust we see in these lakes is the same dust that causes earlier spring snowmelt here, so we can now definitively say that humans are in large part responsible for this melt,” said Neff.

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Posted in agriculture, Climate Change, cropland, dust bowl, grassland, Human-induced natural catastrophes, land use, soil, topsoil | Leave a Comment »