Month / December 2015

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  • Glaciers Harbor Life Over Millennia

    Rock samples collected at the base of glaciers in Canada, Norway, Greenland and Antarctica have helped resolve a longstanding mystery: what were the energy sources that supported life in the distant geological past, when the earth was covered with ice? The microorganisms in subglacial habitats may have taken energy from hydrogen molecules during the harsh…

  • Ski Resorts Seek Alternatives

    As snow rapidly disappears from high mountains, ski and winter sport resorts are looking for alternatives to keep their struggling businesses alive. The world’s skiing industry is worth $60 to $70 billion, some estimates say. About 44 percent of ski-related travel is in the alps, while 21 percent is in the United States. In just 30…

  • Glaciers Provide Insight on Norse Migration

    Recent research on the dynamics of glaciers in the Arctic over the last millennium has altered understandings of climate history and of human migrations in this inhospitable region. Glaciers in Baffin Island and western Greenland reached their maximum extent during the time of Medieval Warm Period,  roughly 950-1250,  instead of the Little Ice Age of the sixteenth through…

  • Roundup: Students, Seals and Skiers Visit Glaciers

    Survival of a Tropical Glacier A glacier in the Peruvian Andes is shrinking more slowly than was previously thought. Careful examination of long-term satellite images is the key. Previous research has not separated snow and ice as accurately. William Kochtitzky, a student from Dickinson College, presented a poster about glacial changes on Peru’s Nevado Coropuna…

  • Norway’s Gift to Finland: A Mountain and a Snowfield

    Norway may present its neighbor Finland with an unusual gift: a mountain 1331 meters in elevation, with a permanent snowfield at its top. This peak, Halti, lies a few hundred meters on the Norwegian side of the boundary between the countries.  Though it is small by Norwegian standards—it does not appear on the ranking of…

  • Peru Faces Tensions Over Water

    Peru will face a “new normal” as greater agricultural and energy demands, population growth and climate change chip away at what is left of its glaciers, according to a recent article in the Yale Journal of International Affairs. Glacial retreat could ultimately lead to conflict in the country, the author found. “Peru offers an early…

  • Do Village Traditions Trump Adaptation?

    The village of Manang, high in the Himalayas in Nepal, is using economic diversification to stave off the effects of climate change, but will soon reach a point where more adaptation is needed, Katie Konchar and her coauthors warned in a new study in the Journal of Ethnobiology. The team used semi-structured interviews and innovative photography…

  • Roundup: Photographers, skiers and pollen-counters

    Landscape photographer uncovers the beauty of mother nature “Mother Nature’s show is fickle, fleeting and often demanding. As an emerging landscape photographer, I am quickly learning the emergency-of-now; how once-in-a-lifetime moments are immediately lost if not acted upon. There is no safe, warm studio to snuggle up in and no way to get the content without being…

  • Photo Friday: Mt. Kilimanjaro

    The UN designated December 11th as International Mountain Day. This year, at COP 21, a side event was held, ‘International Mountain Day: Celebrating International Cooperation on Climate Change Adaptation in Mountain Environments – from Rio to Lima to Paris In honor of this celebration of mountains, this week’s Photo Friday features images of Mount Kilimanjaro,…

  • The IPCC’s Himalayan Error Sheds Light on Peer Review

    The IPCC’s 2007 publishing of an erroneous prediction of Himalayan glacier disappearance is used as a case study on the peer review process in science.