A darker cryosphere in a warming world

Dust and black carbon deposition in high-mountain Asia darkens snow and ice, increases sunlight absorption and causes melt — a reinforcing feedback. Now research shows the increasing importance of dust over black carbon at higher altitude, and the sensitivity of aerosol transport and delivery to Arctic sea-ice melt.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Mineral dust and snow algae darken high-mountain snow.


  1. 1.

    Skiles, S. M., Flanner, M., Cook, J. M., Dumont, M. & Painter, T. H. Nat. Clim. Change 8, 964–971 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Sarangi, C. et al. Nat. Clim. Change https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-00909-3 (2020).

  3. 3.

    Li, F. et al. Nat. Clim. Change https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0881-2 (2020).

  4. 4.

    Dumont, M. et al. Cryosph. 11, 1091–1110 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Di Mauro, B. et al. Cryosph. 13, 1147–1165 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Cohen, J. et al. Nat. Clim. Change 10, 20–29 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Ryan, J. C. et al. Nat. Commun. 9, 1065 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Cook, J. M. et al. Cryosph. 14, 309–330 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Di Mauro, B. et al. Sci. Rep. 10, 4739 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Gray, A. et al. Nat. Commun. 11, 2527 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Ganey, G. Q., Loso, M. G., Burgess, A. B. & Dial, R. J. Nat. Geosci. 10, 754–759 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Zennaro, P. et al. Clim. Past 10, 1905–1924 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Kokhanovsky, A. et al. Remote Sens. 11, 2280 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Di Mauro, B. et al. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 6080–6097 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Takeuchi, N. & Li, Z. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res. 40, 744–750 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Biagio Di Mauro.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Di Mauro, B. A darker cryosphere in a warming world. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-00911-9

Download citation


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing