Some parts of the South American Andes has snow that is as clean as the Arctic in places like Alaska and Northern Canada, which are known to have clean ice deposits.
Researchers came to this conclusion after making hundreds of tests along the Andes that spans several countries and covers almost 7,000 km cutting through South America. The ice in this region has less than 14 nanograms of soot, or black carbon for every gram of snow, said Raul Cordero of the Santiago University that carried out this study.
While there was no mention of where the samples were made, older studies, specifically one made in 2015 by the National Center for Atmospheric Research found that the northern Andes has soot levels of 70 nanograms per gram of snow, notes a report by Inquisitr. This could mean that the Cordero study was done further south and in other parts of the mountain range.
"The concentration of black carbon deposits found in the Andean snow implies a reduction in the reflectivity or albedo of the snow of less than 2.0 percent," said Cordero in a statement. Albedo is the unit of an object's capacity to reflect light, notes the report. White snow is good at reflecting light, so the coldest parts of the world are often the places that is able to efficiently reflect light energy away, this will keep them frozen for a long time. So a higher albedo score means higher reflectivity which can be reduced by soot deposits.
In spite of cleaner ice found in the Andes, researchers have said that there is a rapid retreat of glaciers and ice levels, overall in the region.
Ice in other parts of the world, Greenland, for example, has been found to have darker snow, which also contributes to the rapidly melting ice there. Snow in Greenland is darker now than just five years back, notes the report.