Roundup: A Glacier Made of People, A Lake and a Thaw

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015

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Global climate march 2015 – in pictures

On the eve of the opening of the UN climate change conference in Paris, campaigners around the world from Melbourne to London are marching to demand action. In Germany, demonstrators dressed in white to appear as a glacier.

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Campaigners dress in white clothes to represent a glacier in Munich, Germany(Photograph: Sven Hoppe/EPA)

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Lakes expanding ‘dangerously’ in Everest glacier

Lakes that have been forming near Mount Everest could threaten settlements downstream if they overflow. Ponds on the surface of the Khumbu glacier in the Himalayas have expanded and joined together to form larger bodies of water. Climbers need to cross the glacier, including the treacherous Khumbu Icefall, to climb the mighty peak. The accelerated meltdown of glaciers in the region is causing concern against a backdrop of rising global temperatures. Scientists say the warning is the first of its kind for Khumbu, although other glaciers in the Himalayas have seen an increase in the number of lakes formed. Such newly formed glacial lakes can overflow causing flooding, and with it loss of life and damage downstream.

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Scientists are warning that superglacial ponds like this one are expanding to form lakes(source:C. Scott Watson, University of Leeds)

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The great thaw: Climate change has profound effects in Glacier National Park

The river of ice that hugs Mount Grinnell’s high ridges is neither big nor particularly beautiful, but it may be the most accessible glacier in all of North America. In as little as three hours, an average hiker can traverse the mountain’s well-groomed trail to plant a foot on a frozen relic of the Little Ice Age. But the glacier is now melting quickly, and will soon be gone.

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A 2012 photograph shows the remains of Boulder Glacier in Glacier National Park in Montana.(source: Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center)

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