Roundup:The Melting World, Frozen Stories and Ice Artifacts

Alpine glaciers have already begun to disappear worldwide

As world temperatures soar, public outcry has focused on the threat to polar ice sheets and sea ice. Yet there is another impact of global warming—one much closer to home—that spells trouble for Americans: the extinction of alpine glaciers in the Rocky Mountains. The epicenter of the crisis is Glacier National Park, Montana, whose peaks once held one-hundred-and-fifty glaciers. Only twenty-five survive. The Park provides a window into the future of climate impacts for mountain ranges around the globe.

The Alps, Andes, Cascades, Rockies, and Himalayas are suffering staggering losses. Glaciers provide more than fifty percent of our freshwater needs worldwide—for drinking, irrigation, and hydroelectric power. What’s more, alpine ice feeds innumerable watersheds that harbor ecosystems crucial to fish and wildlife. Nowhere is this truer than in the mountains of Montana.

Glacier National Park, Montana by Siva Subramanian Vasanth
Glacier National Park, Montana by Siva Subramanian Vasanth Photo from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/siva_vasanth/

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FROZEN STORIES – Discoveries in the Alpine glaciers

Climate change also has its archaeological aspect. It can bring to light what has been hidden under glacial ice for a very long time. Ötzi was not the only lucky find of the last decades. Many other objects have been exposed from the ice,recounting exciting stories from a distant past. And every new discovery gives rise to the question: What was it that drove people onto the glaciers for thousands of years?

FROZEN STORIES is an exhibition of rare and in some cases only recently discovered finds from the glacier regions of the Alps, some of them appearing in public for the first time.A multimedia tour with animations, videos and original finds explains the glacier phenomenon to visitors in all its exciting topicality.

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Swiss rush to find ice artifacts as glaciers melt

“With Swiss glaciers expected to melt away within a half-century, a Swiss cultural institute and a graduate student in the canton (state) of Graubuenden have launched a pilot project through the end of 2015 to gather artifacts trapped long ago in the ice that are now turning up. The clock is ticking, they say, because once the ice melts away the items will no longer be preserved. Leandra Naef, who has a master’s degree in prehistoric archaeology, told Swiss news agency swissinfo.ch that the project in eastern Switzerland’s mountains “has to happen now, or else it will be too late, if it’s not already too late.

Upper snows of the Jungfraufirn near Jungfraujoch. File photo. Image by: Tallin/ Wikipedia
Upper snows of the Jungfraufirn near Jungfraujoch. Image by: Tallin/ Wikipedia Photo: http://www.timeslive.co.za/scitech/2014/06/24/swiss-rush-to-find-ice-artifacts-as-glaciers-melt

 

Read more about glaciers melt, click here.

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