Month / May 2016

    Loading posts...
  • Organisms on Glacier Surfaces May Function as Carbon Sinks

    A new study shows that life processes of microbes living on the surface of glacier ice–organisms known as supraglacial microbes–may have an impact on the melting of glacial ice and on global greenhouse gas levels. It documents a previously unrecorded process by which these microbes produce compounds which retain carbon on the glacier surface, rather than…

  • Roundup: Glacial Melt, Photos, and Disasters

    Each week, we highlight three stories from the forefront of glacier news. The Climate Post: Melting of Totten Glacier Could Trigger 6 Foot Sea-Level Rise From Huffpost Green: “A new study published in the journal Nature is drawing attention to the effect of warming water on the world’s largest ice mass, Totten Glacier in East Antarctica. Melting of…

  • Photo Friday: Fieldwork on Gulkana Glacier

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been collecting mass balance data on Gulkana Glacier ever since 1966. Gulkana Glacier is one of USGS’s two “benchmark” glaciers in Alaska, for which it has been patiently gathering data on an annual basis for the last fifty years. The glacier, looming 1300 meters in elevation, is located along…

  • On Russian Glaciers, Algae Imitate Goldilocks

    Glaciers might seem like places that are hostile to life, but it turns out that microorganisms like algae and photosynthesizing bacteria (known as cyanobacteria) can flourish on them. A team of researchers recently investigated these life forms on four glaciers in the Suntar-Khayata Mountains in eastern Siberia, a range that’s home to nearly 200 glaciers.…

  • Using Seismic Waves to Measure Ice Melt? Sounds Good

    A recent study in the journal Science Advances proposes a novel methodology to track melting ice sheets and the glaciers associated with them: rather than viewing the ice from above with airplanes and satellites, a team from MIT and Princeton is monitoring it from below. The new technique makes it possible to gather information about…

  • Satellites Detect Both Steady and Accelerated Ice Loss

    A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters reports the findings of a pair of satellites that measure gravity to get a clearer picture of the continued ice mass loss in Greenland, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The study found accelerated ice loss in the Arctic, and steady loss in Alaska,…

  • Roundup: How Glaciers Affect and Are Affected By Water

    Each week, we highlight three stories from the forefront of glacier news. Totten Glacier Hurtles Towards Retreat and Possible Collapse From Nature: “Satellite-based observations indicate that the margin of Totten Glacier may be experiencing greater ice loss than anywhere else in East Antarctica. This, coupled with the presence of low-lying subglacial basins upstream means the Totten Glacier catchment…

  • Photo Friday: NASA’s Operation IceBridge

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s ongoing operation called IceBridge uses manned aircraft to study polar ice. IceBridge serves to bridge the gap between NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which stopped collecting data in 2009, and NASA’s second generation of the satellite (ICESat-2) which is scheduled to launch later this year. The six year…

  • For New Zealand Visitors, Helicopters Offer Only Way Onto Two Glaciers

    The only way for visitors to walk on two iconic glaciers in New Zealand, the Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers, is by taking a helicopter ride— a situation that probably won’t change in the foreseeable future, a spokesperson for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation has told GlacierHub. The Associated Press reported in March, under the headline…

  • Scientists Look to Locals for Climate Change Study

    Climate change data is usually collected by scientific instruments and satellites, but a recent study in Nature Climate Change reveals the importance of collecting observations made by local communities. The observations of subsistence-oriented communities indicate that climate change is threatening local food security by impacting animals and plants integral to the continued survival of these…