Anyone looking for exotic vacation destinations finds it difficult these days. On the other hand, there are hardly any places on earth that you cannot book a flight to. On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly clear that long distance travel is not good for our planet.
At the beginning of 2022, scientists examined How does tourism and human presence affect Antarctica. Her work revolves around this formula:
Deriving this equation is not easy. Describes the amount of snow (WR), which is melting earlier than planned because the albedo of the Earth (A), that is, its reflection, is reduced by “black carbon”. This is very fine soot, which is produced, among other things, when burning fossil fuels or other organic matter associated with tourism, for example.
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It can be deposited on light-colored surfaces, which as a result no longer reflect sunlight but absorb it and heat up. It then takes into account the irradiance of sunlight (I) and a specific time period (D) as well as the amount of energy (E) it takes to melt one kilogram of snow. Together with the area covered by black carbon (D), one finally arrives at the above formula.
No less important are the mathematics than the concrete measurements researchers made in Antarctica to find out how much black carbon covers the snow there. Of course, there is always some “background” of soot that is airborne from everywhere to the southernmost continent.
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