Month / June 2014

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  • If you build (an artificial glacier), they will come

    The concept of geoengineering artificial glaciers is starting to gain traction among glacier communities around the world. Advocates recently hosted a presentation on “Artificial Glaciers in the Northwest” The presentation, delivered in April 2014 in Hood River, Oregon by Emily Smith and Tom Bennett of Portland State University, discussed the possibility of importing those techniques…

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    At the world’s highest battleground, India and Pakistan fight over a glacier

    The highest battleground in the world is over an un-demarcated glacier in the Himalaya’s Karakoram range. For three decades, India and Pakistan’s military dispute has incuded the militarization and control of Siachen glacier. Amid calls of demilitarization of the area from Pakistan and international actors, the Indian government has vowed to continue supporting the armed…

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    Afghanistan’s newest national park is bigger than Yellowstone

    Amid war-torn Afghanistan, the glaciers that isolated the locals for centuries are now attracting tourists. Earlier this year, officials designated the Wakhan District in the Pamir Mountains as the country’s second national park, bringing more outsiders to the remote region. National parks were first proposed in Afghanistan in the 1960s. However, due to decades of…

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    See it while you can: A Peruvian national park capitalizes on glacier melt

    Ecotourists want to experience the power, beauty, and wonder of nature. But do they also want to be exposed to its fragility? Not long ago Peru’s Pastoruri glacier attracted around 100,000 visitors per year, but the number of tourists has dwindled as the glacier has shrunk. As it shrank, it divided into two smaller glaciers…

  • Melting ice threatens to also disappear a small Nepal village

    I was growing impatient waiting for the village of Samzong to appear. After spending hours on horseback climbing over several mountain passes at 12,000 feet, my friend then pointed it out to me. I still could not find it. When I looked forward more carefully, I realized that Samzong had been in front of my…

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    In a small area of Nepal, it’s China that steps in to give aid

    Encroaching on its neighbor, China has been building roads and providing grain to Nepal. As most, if not all, Nepalese glaciers studied by scientists are shrinking, traditional ways of subsistence living has become increasingly difficult. With warming, lower snowfall and unpredictable weather patterns, the streams of glacial meltwater that supplies several Himalayan villages have disappeared.…

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    As the ice melts, communities ask: Should I stay or should I go now?

    As the global temperature increases, vulnerable communities seem to be faced with a choice: adapt or collapse. Migration is frequently proposed as an adaptation strategy, or in some cases, as an unavoidable outcome for communities lacking the capacity to change. Some researchers, however, have criticized this perspective, saying that it reflects an environmental determinism that…

  • Climate change horror at the center of “Blood Glacier”

    At a remote climate change monitoring station high in the Austrian Alps, a group of climate scientists discovered a glacier oozing blood. This blood is highly mutagenic, transforming the creatures that come into contact with it into aggressive, terrifying monsters. “Blood Glacier”, an Austrian horror film, begins with the not-so-farfetched premise that melting glaciers will…

  • Documentary “Snows of the Nile’ tracks disappearing Uganda glaciers

    Glaciers are melting everywhere, but none so much as the rare equatorial ones that lie on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda in east Africa. The new documentary Snows of the Nile follows Neil Losin and Nate Dappen, two scientists and photographers whose ambitious expedition is to return to the original sites…

  • To prevent mining expansion, form your own country

    Chilean law does not recognize its 3,100 glaciers, leaving them with limited protection from industrial development. Most notably, the copper mining industry, which contributes 15 percent of the country’s $268.3 billion GDP, often encroaches on the glaciers, tapping water for operations, or dumping mining detritus on them. Recently, the state-owned Codelco proposed expansion of the…