Study shows desert dust impacts snowpack, plant life

It alters ecology of alpine landscapes, study finds

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  • Anonymous
    Aug. 7, 2009 10:44 a.m.

    Changes in vegetation patterns; i.e. conifers taking over traditional aspen stands, have more to do with the snow pack levels than the dust.

  • sky is falling
    June 30, 2009 10:51 p.m.

    O yea it is only caused by man they know the difference between dust caused by the wind in un touched areas and dust by OHV give me a break I am sure they have collected all kinds of data from the 1600, 1700, and 1800 to measure against. This is bull I am sure paid for through grants from enviornmentalist organizations. Most of the scientist started with we are going to do a study to prove that man should not be allowed to enter public lands. O and ATV's driving up a road is more harmful than an enviornmentalist driving there subaru. what is amazing is that somebody is dumb enough to belive this junk science. Must throw out common sense to belive most of the current enviornmentalist junk.

  • Marnie
    June 30, 2009 10:26 p.m.

    Is anybody really buying this???

  • MR MR
    June 30, 2009 4:20 p.m.


  • PP
    June 30, 2009 4:02 p.m.

    This study is pure fantasy. Did the "scientists" actually do any measurements when they prepared their paper? In case you haven't noticed, there is still show in them thare hills. That is more than a full month later than 5 years ago when the snow was gone by the end of May. Maybe the dust in Utah is making the snow last longer. But why bother actually doing any science when you can write a computer model to prove you point.

    One more thing, earlier in the winter Colorado was complaining because Utah ski hills were getting all the snow and Colorado was not - so the statement that Colorado had near record snow levels is an outright lie.

    But maybe the dust from ATVs is affecting the jet stream too.

  • MRMR
    June 30, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    Standing up and CLAPPING loud for Stevo!!!!!! Also I wonder how much dust these prehistoric animals kicked up while on earth and also the early "cowboys" when they was cattle herding? Just a thought.

  • Carbon Dioxide
    June 30, 2009 3:03 p.m.

    So CO2 is a problem?.....easy solution! Kill a liberal, save the planet from hot CO2!

  • stevo!
    June 30, 2009 3:02 p.m.

    yo mrmr, I own a dirt bike!

  • Ernest T. Bass
    June 30, 2009 2:38 p.m.

    Society would be much better off without rednecks and their ATVs.

  • I grew up...
    June 30, 2009 1:39 p.m.

    I have to correct myself...the last few years has been an isolated event (not just this year).

  • Thinkin' Man
    June 30, 2009 12:22 p.m.

    CO2 has nothing to do with air pollution. Fighting sulfates, nitrates, and particulates is much easier and less expensive than removing CO2 from sources.

    The story about dust is hypothetical--read it again.

  • Thad Erickson
    June 30, 2009 10:00 a.m.

    Dust can have a big impact, but let's not jump to conclusions. My dad, born in 1909, used to talk about the big dust clouds that hung over the Bear River range as a result of the overgrazing of the 1880-1930s era. The mountains recovered nicely from that. Dust of even greater magnitude is found evidenced in the huge post glacial loess deposits we see all over the west. This was the kind of thing that may have caused the post glacial mamalian extinction of the mammoth, camel, short faced bear, giant ground sloth etc. The usefulness of this recent study will depend on how well it is tied or related to these much larger geologically recent dust events for comparison. Trying to use this study to bolster questionable global warming theories would be folly.

  • I grew up near the San Juans
    June 30, 2009 9:16 a.m.

    This year has been an isolate event to SW Colorado. The term global warming should not be used, more like a regional cyclic event that likely happens several times a century. The dry SW is experience a lagging affect of the recent drought. There was a drought in the 1930s, a drought in the 1960s, and another drought in the early 2000s. I wouldn't be surprised if similar occurrences were reported over the course of 3-4 years during the later part of those droughts.

  • Pragmatism
    June 30, 2009 9:13 a.m.

    Re Thinkin Man: You aren't thinking too deeply. The earth's climate has been changing throughout earth's history. It has been 10,000 since the last ice age and the earth is still in a warming cycle. That is undeniable. You may argue the extent as to which man is having on climate change, but climate change, like it or not, is a very real thing. I'm guessing that you are a 'scientific conservative' who believes that everything is fine while the house around you is burning down because of the fear that it might cost you something.
    The real motivation behind climate change debate is money rather than scientific evidence. Personally, I don't mind spending the money to clean up our sources of energy just to make it so I can breathe far fewer toxins that overhang our cities. Whether climate change is man-made, naturally caused, or little of both, having clean air is worth it to me, besides look at all the money that can be made by spawning a whole new industry. China is even jumping on that bandwagon, while we sit around and bicker amongst ourselves.

  • Desert dust
    June 30, 2009 8:51 a.m.

    so, desert dust is only created by man and their ATV's?! What about drought and the aftermath of wild fires? Can't have nature playing a part in their theories now, can we!!

  • MRMR
    June 30, 2009 8:28 a.m.

    RE:stevo! | 8:10 a.m. June 30, 2009, sounds like you might be a little bitter because you cant afford a ATV!!!! Our government has laid out specific areas we, the ATVers can ride, and BTW not all of us ride like crazy people!!!! and we stay on approved roads!

  • stevo!
    June 30, 2009 8:10 a.m.

    How much does the atv crowd tearing up the top soil in the desert have to do with this? Entire landscapes have been laid to waste by these machines.

  • Thinkin' Man
    June 30, 2009 7:59 a.m.

    Note that the dust was "simulated," and this is all what-if scaremongering about hypothetical "climate change."