Roundup: Studying and Dancing to Melting Glaciers

Dancing to the tune of a melting glacier: CoMotion tackles climate change

From Missoulian: 

Kaitlin Kinsley
Kaitlin Kinsley preforming a piece from “Changing Balance/Balancing Change” last week at the West Glacier Community Center. Source: Tom Bauer, Missoulian.

 

“If someone suggested you watch artists perform an hour-long dance about climate change, you might shoot them your best ‘have-you-lost-your-mind’ look. But your curiosity level might be raised, too.

When Karen Kaufmann’s phone rang in February 2015 and the caller asked her about putting together just such a production, her reaction, although certainly not the same, at least followed a similar arc.

‘I grappled with it,’ says Kaufmann, artistic director at the University of Montana’s CoMotion Dance Project. ‘The topic overwhelmed me. It was not immediately intuitive how one would go about choreographing climate change.'”

Read more about CoMotion’s production of “Changing Balance/Balancing Change” here.

Visitors To A Shrinking Alaskan Glacier Get A Lesson On Climate Change

From NPR: 

Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska
Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. Source: Becky Bohrer/AP

“John Neary, director of the visitor center for [Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska], wants the more than 500,000 people who visit the Mendenhall Glacier each year to know that it’s rapidly retreating due to climate change.

‘It became our central topic really just in the last few years,’ Neary says.”

Read about Neary’s programming efforts to teach visitors about the effects of climate change here.

 

The Tiny World of Glacier Microbes Has an Outsized Impact on Global Climate

From Smithsonian: 

Greenland Ice Sheet
From above, a researcher collects data on cryoconite holes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Source: Joseph Cook

“The ability to tinker with our planet’s climate isn’t isolated to Arctic puddles. Microbes within these small pools, and nestled in lakebed sediments buried miles beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, could harbor the ability to seriously alter the global carbon cycle, as well as the climate. And researchers have only recently begun to navigate these minuscule worlds[….] Scientists once thought these holes were devoid of life. But researchers are now finding that they actually contain complex ecosystems of microbes like bacteria, algae and viruses.”

Read more about a researcher’s three-week efforts to monitor the ability of puddles and the life contained in them to manipulate Earth’s climate here.

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