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The Industrial Snow Phenomenon: Effects on Agricultural Crops

The Industrial Snow Phenomenon: Effects on Agricultural Crops

20 February 2024 - BioAksxter®

'It takes a good snowfall to clean the air,' said the farmer looking at his crops...

Recently, several areas of the Po Valley have been affected by a rather unusual meteorological phenomenon vulgarly referred to as industrial snow. In reality, it is a precipitation phenomenon (instead of water, fog) due to pollution. This extraordinary weather event, which occurs due to special atmospheric conditions and high levels of pollution, has caught the attention of meteorologists and environmental experts, but also of the inhabitants of the affected areas. This has raised concerns about the implications, including on agriculture.

In this article, we will explore the phenomenon of chemical snow around the world and its negative impact on crops, analysing the causes, consequences and safeguards needed to protect agriculture.

What is Industrial Snow and How it Forms: Origins and Causes

Industrial snow is a complex atmospheric phenomenon that occurs under specific meteorological and environmental conditions. It forms in the presence of sub-zero temperatures, high humidity in the air and high levels of pollutants in the atmosphere. Abnormal localised snowfall occurs despite the weather forecast announcing good weather. It is an event that is part of the global weather record.

Water vapour in the air condenses around liquid and gaseous microparticles of pollutants (such as silicates, sulphides, copper oxide, mercury iodides, cadmium, and lead). These particles act as condensation nuclei, facilitating the transformation of water into snow-like ice crystals.

Industrial snow may occur more widely in urban and industrial areas, where thermal inversion conditions due to air pollution are prevalent.

The recommendation is not to touch this type of snow.

From an agricultural perspective, the industrial snow phenomenon further highlights the problem of pollution, i.e. the contamination of soil and plants, which compromises the quality and safety of agricultural products. It therefore raises important environmental and public health issues, highlighting the need for remedial measures.

Unnoticed and Invisible: Industrial Snow Residues in Agricultural Soils

With regard to agricultural products, especially organic ones, industrial snow is an unknown and neglected problem. Unknown to consumers. Neglected by farmers, professional organisations, and agricultural bodies.

Multi-residual analyses, although useful for monitoring chemical residue levels in agricultural products, do not detect air pollutants, including those deposited by industrial snow. In fact, only residues of active ingredients used in agriculture can be detected with this type of analysis.

In a nutshell, organic regulations do not consider and are not up-to-date with today's environmental parameters.

It is absurd, isn't it? We pay more to have an agricultural product grown without pesticides believing it to be healthy, and we do not worry about pollutants of other kinds (industrial pollutants, PFAS or Microplastics which we have discussed in other articles).

Given the cost of multi-residual analyses borne by farmers, we certainly cannot demand the addition of other substances.

Episodes of Industrial Snow at Global Level

As we explained in the introduction to the article, this phenomenon has already been occurring for years in different areas of the world, but only today is it being talked about a lot because of the frequency of this event. If before it was indeed a rarity, today we can no longer call it that and the facts confirm this.

Italy, England, Austria, Hungary, France: these are just a few countries that have recorded episodes of industrial snow.





Measures for Agriculture

Addressing the issue of contamination, including from chemical snow, and its effects on agricultural crops, requires effective measures and solutions. Among the strategies to be considered is the innovative BioAksxter® technology to address the impact of pollution on agricultural production.

The use of BioAksxter® de-polluting formulations in agricultural systems becomes crucial to counter pollution issues. Because these technical means go beyond mere environmental sustainability, reclaiming soil and groundwater, and removing chemical residues from agricultural products.

M32 Photovoltaic Greenhouse

M32 Photovoltaic Greenhouse

Growing in light deficiency situations with BioAksxter®: optimized production and investment for your farm.

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M31 Photovoltaic Greenhouse

M31 Photovoltaic Greenhouse

Growing in light deficiency situations with BioAksxter®: optimized production and investment for your farm.

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For any information about BioAksxter® de-polluting products, contact us via webform or by calling +39 0465 734591

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