Month / May 2015

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  • Photo Friday: Cryoconites and Glacier Tables

    Have you ever seen dark cavities on glaciers, which are also referred to as “cryoconites”? These holes, which can be meters deep,are created from debris on top of glaciers. Dark-colored debris, including soot, dust, and pollen, speed up the melting process of glacial ice as a consequence of their low reflectivity to incoming sunlight. In…

  • Nepali Villagers Trapped Under Threat of Glacier Floods

    One month after the first of two major earthquakes in Nepal, 38 villages, 834 households and 4600 people continue to wait for substantial relief efforts and remain uncertain about the future. The first earthquake, which hit on April 25, severely damaged villages in Pharak, in the southern part of the Everest region in Nepal. When…

  • Everest’s Glaciers in Peril

    Even the highest glaciers in the world will not escape the effects of climate change, according to a study published today (27 May) in  The Cryosphere, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). This study shows that the glaciers in the Everest region are very sensitive to warming, and will shrink massively…

  • Glacial Retreat Encourages Seaweed Colonization

    Newly ice-free areas exposed by glacial retreat in Potter Cove, Antarctica, are being colonized by seaweed. With glaciers melting, the original white, mostly lifeless Antarctica is now becoming darker and lively with seaweed. These macroalgae not only produce oxygen for marine species through photosynthesis but also serve as the base of the marine food chain.…

  • Roundup: Cyanobacteria, Glacier Calving and Glacier Fluctuations

    Arctic biocrust cyanobacterial communities “In the polar regions cyanobacteria are an important element of plant communities and represent the dominant group of primary producers. They commonly form thick highly diverse biological soil crusts that provide microhabitats for other organisms. Cyanobacteria are also producers of toxic secondary metabolites. The north-west coast of Spitsbergen, are able to…

  • Photo Friday: Glacier Illuminated by Aurora

    This week’s photos feature the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta, Canada with Northern Lights in the background. Photographer Paul Zizka captured ice climber Stuart and Takeshi Tani hanging from the glacier when the Northern Light hits the sky. Paul Zizka is a professional mountain landscape and adventure photographer based in Banff, Alberta. He has a passion…

  • Artist Emma Stibbon Talks Glaciers and ‘Bearing Witness’

    For award winning artist Emma Stibbon, connecting with the landscapes she draws is a crucial part of her artistic process. Her travels have taken her to both poles and in between, where she has witnessed the impacts human activity has in some of the most isolated parts of the world. Stibbon, who is Senior Lecturer…

  • Supercool water found near glaciers

    Temperatures in Spitbergen, Norway may be below freezing, but the water around the Glacier Front isn’t frozen, researchers Eugene Morozov from Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Aleksey Marchenko from the University Center in Svalbard, and Yu. D. Fomin from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, found, This process of supercooling, also known as undercooling, happens when the temperature of…

  • An image of glacial calving.

    The Sound of Glacial Calving

    Listening to the unique creaks and cracks of an arctic fjord, six researchers affiliated with the Polish Academy of Sciences recorded the sounds glaciers make as they break off into water. The recordings are being used in an important effort to better understand this process of breaking off, called calving. Glacial calving is “poorly understood”…

  • Roundup: Irrigation, Monitoring, and Tidewater

    Evolution of Socio-hydrological Interactions in the Karakoram  “Based on three case studies, this paper describes and analyzes the structure and dynamics of irrigation systems in Upper Hunza, located in the western Karakoram, Pakistan. In these deeply incised and arid valleys, glacier and snow melt-water are the primary water sources for agricultural production. The study shows…