Greenland's 'dark snow' climate threat worse than thought

Scientists studying the ice in Greenland say one of the factors causing it to melt — black soot that absorbs heat from the sun — is much worse than they thought, and could contribute to the global rise in sea levels.

Soot and ash from burning coal, wood and dung speed melting of polar ice

Dark ice's climate threat

8 years ago
Duration 2:34
Polar ice melt is being accelerated by a phenomenon happening faster than ever imagined, Greenland researcher says

Vast stretches of northern Greenland looked like anything but the snowy white North this summer. 

That's because huge amounts of soot — from the burning of coal, wood, diesel and dung — have been deposited in the snow and ice.

Danish-based scientist Jason Box says the problem is worse than he ever imagined.

As the snow is darkened by soot, it absorbs more incoming sunlight, causing it to heat up and melt faster.

"Melting in Greenland will affect sea level rise around the planet," Box says.

Watch Duncan McCue's report above or click here to see more.

With files from Vik Adhopia and Duncan McCue