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News Release 09-133

Desert Dust Alters Ecology of Colorado Alpine Meadows

Accelerated snowmelt, prompted by dust, changes how plants respond to seasonal climate cues

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Photo of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

More dust covers snow in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado than previously documented.

Credit: Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies


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Photo of Chris Landry carrying out simulated dust effects on snowmelt.

Scientists like Chris Landry, pictured, simulated dust effects on snowmelt in experiments.

Credit: Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies


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Photo of scientists placing black fabric which absorbs the Sun's energy.

Experiments included using black fabric to absorb the Sun's energy; dust was added to other sites.

Credit: Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies


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Photo of Andrew Temple of CSAS.

Researchers found twelve "dust events" this winter; Andrew Temple of CSAS is pictured.

Credit: Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies


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