About this Research Topic
Snow and ice in once-rarely-reaching areas, e.g., Arctic, Antarctica and high mountains, were thought to be pristine. We now know that they are not as pure as once deemed, but instead present various traces of anthropogenic activities associated with the booming of economic globalization.
As a result of human activities, pollutants are introduced into and deposited in snow and ice. To investigate the temporal and spatial distributions of these impurities in snow and ice, and to study their post-deposition process and potential impacts on the environment and climate, is essential for the public and policymakers to better understand human activities and their impacts on our vulnerable planet. Although the numbers of studies on this topic have been increasing over the past decade, current knowledge on the impurities in snow and ice is far from satisfying,
The impurification of snow affects the energy exchange at the snow surface, and therefore has an impact on the surface mass balance of snow and ice. It is therefore possible for glaciers to gain more heat from the environment, increasing the risk of development of subglacial hydrology system and causing changes in the dynamics of glaciers, which eventually contributes to the mass loss of glaciers and ice sheets. This Research Topic will pay close attention to the direct and indirect consequences of impure snow and ice, i.e., their energy interactions with atmosphere, changes of surface mass balance and their potential impact on glacier dynamics.
This Research Topic welcomes research on the transiting processes of impurities resulting from natural and anthropogenic induced sources into snow and ice of the remote areas and their potential impacts on global environment and climate. Several impurities would particularly be taken into consideration:
• Heavy metals, including their concentrations, sources and enriched levels compared to background;
• Black carbon, including its concentrations, sources and to what degree it darkens snow and ice and thereby its impacts on the melting of snow and ice and global climate;
• Dust, including its concentrations, sources and to what degree it darkens snow and ice;
• Pesticides, including their concentrations, sources and enriched levels compared to background;
• Microplastic, including their concentrations, sources and transport;
• Algae, including the species, distributions and roles in changing the status of snow and ice; and
• Other non-fully noticed impurities.
Cover Image was taken by Topic Editor Jing Ming.
Keywords: impurities, snow and ice, environment, climate dynamics
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.