Month / June 2016

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  • Washington State Tribes Block Coal Terminal

    An application to build the largest coal port ever proposed in North America was yet again blocked earlier this month due to concerns that the terminal would have infringed on treaty-reserved fishing rights of local tribal communities in the northern Puget Sound. Washington State’s Department of Natural Resources June 6 blockage of the coal port…

  • Renewed Activity at Colombian Volcano Raises Concern

    The glacier-covered Volcan del Ruiz in Colombia has shown signs of renewed activity in the last several days, following a shallow earthquake of 3.0 on the Richter scale on June 22, associated with fracturing of rock within the volcano. The Colombian Geological Service recognized this fracturing as a sign of possible movements of magma that could lead to…

  • Damming Switzerland’s Glaciers

    An estimated 80 percent of Switzerland’s annual water supply will be “missing” by 2100, as glaciers in the Alps retreat under rising temperatures. A recent study by Swiss and Italian researchers addresses this anticipated loss by exploring whether dams could replicate the hydrological role of glaciers. Like glaciers, the dams would contain and store meltwaters at…

  • Study shows glacial melting changes mountain lake ecology

    In the Rocky Mountains, researchers have been studying a pair of lakes–Jasper and Albino. While they are similar in size, location, and depth, there is one important difference: Jasper Lake is fed by glacier meltwater while Albino Lake is fed by snow. A report published in May reveals that this small difference has had a…

  • Preparing Peruvian Communities for Glacier-based Adaptation

    As climate change quickens the pace at which Andean glaciers are melting, Peruvian communities located downstream from glaciers are becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters. The Peruvian national and subnational governments, the Swiss Development Cooperation, the University of Zurich, and the international humanitarian group CARE Peru have executed a collaborative multidisciplinary project to help two affected…

  • Roundup: On Glaciers This Week: Raves, Yoga and Kayaks

    Icelanders Celebrate Solstice with Glacier Rave From The Daily Beast: “Sure enough, there he was: a man dressed in a head-to-toe panda costume running toward the bus and waving his hands, a sweaty tornado of furry stress, desperate not to miss the bus that would transport him to the Langjökull Glacier—and the 500-meter tunnel that…

  • Photo Friday: Designing an Art Park for a Greenland Fjord

    Talented artists and architects competed for the honor of designing the new Icefjord Centre in Ilulissat, Greenland.   The Danish architectural group Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter  presented an elegantly curving building design which won the competition.  However, another one of the finalists, the entry by Studio Other Spaces, founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann, was nothing…

  • Military intervention at Nepal’s fastest growing glacial lake

    Ten kilometres south of Mount Everest lies Nepal’s “fastest-growing glacier lake”— Imja Tsho. In March 2016, acting to mitigate potential threats the lake might pose to over 96,000 people downriver, the Nepalese Army began installing syphons to lower the water level by 10 feet (3 m). The army’s engineering department, commissioned by Nepal’s Department of Hydrology…

  • John Kerry Sees ‘Center of Climate Change’ On Norwegian Glacier Visit

    John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State, visited a glacier recently in Svalbard, Norway, as part of his travels to meetings in the Nordic countries. He was accompanied by his counterpart, the Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende. The experience of seeing retreating glaciers and shrinking sea ice impressed him. On his Twitter account, he…

  • 1,400-Year Old Sledge Thawed Out of Norwegian Glacier

      In the most recent issue of the Journal of Glacial Archaeology (JGA), a team of Norwegian scientists from the Hordaland County Council and University Museum of Bergen announced their discovery of a prehistoric sledge freed from the ice.  The discovery, announced in the 2015 article, followed significant melting of the Vossaskavlen Glacier in western Norway. A…