The Big Melt continues

 

We know coal and other dirty fuels help heat up the planet, but it looks like they're also messing with Western water supplies. Scientists at the DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (press release here) have found that when soot from power plants and diesel engines settles on mountain snow, the darker snow absorbs more heat and can melt as much as a month early -- meaning less of that crucial runoff in late spring and summer. Check out HCN's coverage of the similarly doom-y effects of dust storms in Colorado's San Juan Mountains.