Filtering our samples in the hotel room. We melted the snow in the microwave and poured it into a funnel. Between the funnel and a flask below there is a filter that water can be forced through but that traps any particles in the water. I'm using a hand-operated vacuum pump to pull the water through the filter into the flask. Later the reflectance of the filters is analyzed to determine how much soot was in the snow that was filtered (more soot means a darker filter). Knowing the amount of soot allow you to determine how much more sunlight is absorbed by the snow than would be if it were clean, and if that is enough to help speed its melt or affect the climate.

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Page created 15 August 2007, Last modified 15 August 2007 22:13 Pacific Daylight Time