Dark Snow Project

help us fund a Greenland expedition to measure the impact of wildfire and industrial black carbon "soot" on the darkening of snow and ice, amplifying melt.
Jason Box
Columbus, Ohio
United States
3 Team Members
This campaign is raising funds on behalf of Earth Insight Foundation Incorporated, a verified nonprofit. The campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit or have any formal association with it. All contributions are considered unrestricted gifts and can't be specified for any particular purpose.

Short Summary

I'm a climatologist and Professor who has made 20 expeditions to Greenland's ice. I represent an open science and journalism team uniquely qualified to measure and communicate the impact of wildfire and industrial black carbon "soot" on the darkening of Arctic snow and ice. Increasing wildfire introduces more light absorbing particles that multiply an existing heat-driven self-compounding melt feedback process. Yet, the relative importance of soot remains poorly understood.

Since 1994, I (Jason Box) have camped for more than 1 year on Greenland's inland ice and have more than 60 externally reviewed publications related to ice-climate interactions. A recent publication measures the feedback between heating of Greenland ice and its reflectivity. More heat reduces ice reflectivity through heat-driven ice crystal rounding. My study accurately predicted complete surface melting over Greenland that occurred in 2012. A missing piece of the science is gauging the relative importance of light absorbing impurities, especially black carbon "soot". I've assembled a team of scientists and communicators to bring this project to the people.

Dr. Thomas Painter is a Research Scientist in the Water and Carbon Cycles Group, in the Earth Sciences Section of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an Adjunct Professor of Geography at UCLA. His principle research interests lie in snow hydrology and water resources, energy balance of snow and ice, radiative forcing by light absorbing impurities in snow and ice, imaging spectroscopy and multispectral remote sensing, and planetary ices. Painter is Chairman and organizer of the Working Group on Light-Absorbing Impurities in Snow and Ice. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Cryosphere Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union.

Ms. McKenzie Skiles
is a PhD student in the Geography department at UCLA, a graduate student researcher who manage the Snow Optics Laboratory. Skiles received her MS from the University of Utah in 2010, focusing on understanding how desert dust was impacting mountain snow cover in the Colorado River Basin. An avid backcountry skier originally from Anchorage, Alaska, her interest in snow is both personal and professional. Today, her main research interests include snow hydrology and radiative forcing by light absorbing impurities in snow and ice.

Dr Marek Stibal is a scientist in the Department of Geochemistry at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. He examines the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of icy ecosystems, with an emphasis on large scale effects of microbial activity on glacial systems, carbon and nutrient cycling in the cryosphere, and microbial diversity, distribution and dispersal in Arctic and Antarctic terrestrial environments. He has been working on Arctic glaciers, including the Greenland Ice Sheet, since 2002.

Mr. Peter Sinclair is an independent, award winning, graphic artist, animator, and videographer now specializing in climate, energy, and related politics. He is arguably the internet's leading climate video blogger with 15 thousand subscribers to his video climate blog http://climatecrocks.com/. As of mid Nov., 2012, the Climate Crock series contains more than 100 videos and 9 in the Yale forum series, titled "This is Not Cool". Sinclair's most popular videos have gotten 80,000 views. The total viewership nears 2.5 million total views. Sinclair will join the expedition to shoot video and sound to produce video shorts to be posted online and pushed toward TV media. Here is an example of Peter's recent work.

Contributors own pieces science, our expedition and through continual video and social media reporting virtually join us on a Greenland expedition, beginning now with fundraising, during the expedition, and in a subsequent science digestion and production phase. Renowned video climate blogger Peter Sinclair plans several posts in addition to our debut video to help tell our story before, during and after the expedition.

What we need: field costs: aircraft charter (more than half of our cost), freight of science cargo, commercial air (flights), travel accomodations, and nourishment. Publication page charges. Video production supplies. We're not asking for salary.

Perks: At and above $25, supporters receive a high quality vinyl silk screened Dark Snow Project logo sticker. At and above $100 receive, in addition a high quality cap.  At and above $250 receive, in addition a high quality hoodie. At and above $1000, in addition receive Greenland-inspired sunglasses that also benefit a Greenland Children's home.

If we don't reach our funding goal, the funds will anway be used to support publication and video production costs as we will continue to communicate this emerging story.

The impact New thinking: each big science story deserves a communication front-end for public awareness building. The public are our market. Meanwhile, climate change is producing fast and surprising change that demands fast and flexible science response. Combining authentic field-based science with talented scientists and critically, clear factual communication are the keys to maximizing our impact.

Past success our team has successfully and safely executed dozens of field campaigns, has a collective 100 publications in top scientific journals, including Science, has been awarded past funding measured in millions of dollars. 

Other ways you can help Do you have marketing expertise, connections with industry sponsors? Can you help us get the word out by sharing this campaign with your personal netword? Indiegogo has a powerful set of share tools!

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raised in 2 months
19% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 1, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $25USD
    Jason Box

    high quality silk screened Dark Snow logo sticker

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $250USD

    high quality cap with dark snow logo patch

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $2,500USD
    Greenlandic design sunglasses

    The material used is designed to resemble the icey fields of Greenland. Reference to the International Polar Year is inscripted on the frame. The unique shape of lenses and frame give the glasses a timeless appearance. http://www.nrgsociety.com/

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
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