Roundup: Glacier Retreat, Mountain Advocacy, and Precipitation

Posted by on Dec 26, 2016

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Roundup:  Glacier Retreat, César Portocarrero and Precipitation

 

Centennial-Scale Glacier Retreat

From Nature Geoscience: “The near-global retreat of glaciers over the last century provides some of the most iconic imagery for communicating the reality of anthropogenic climate change to the public. Surprisingly, however, there has not been a quantitative foundation for attributing the retreats to climate change, except in the global aggregate. This gap, between public perception and scientific basis, is due to uncertainties in numerical modelling and the short length of glacier mass-balance records… We demonstrate that observed retreats of individual glaciers represent some of the highest signal-to-noise ratios of climate change yet documented. Therefore, in many places, the centennial-scale retreat of the local glaciers does indeed constitute categorical evidence of climate change.”

Learn more about new climate discoveries here:

Image of Upsala Glacier retreat and Patagonia Icefield (Source: NASA/Creative Commons).

Image of Upsala Glacier retreat and Patagonia Icefield (Source: NASA/Creative Commons).

 

2016 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal

From hillarymedal.com: On December 11, 2016, César Portocarrero of Cusco, Peru, received the 2017 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal, the world’s most prestigious award for mountain advocacy. The theme of the presentation event, which took place in Kathmandu, was Science and Survival: Mountain Livelihoods, Recreation and Environments. According to the award announcement, “César Portocarrero has directed projects to mitigate the danger of outburst floods from numerous glacial lakes in the Andes, saving thousands of lives and many millions of dollars, and he is now sharing his expertise with members of the High Mountain Adaptation Partnership (HiMAP), including Nepal, Bhutan, and several Central Asian nations.”

Read more about the 2016 award winner here:

Cesar Portocarrero at one of the Cordillera Blanca lakes

Cesar Portocarrero at one of the Cordillera Blanca lakes (Source: hillarymedal.org).

 

Precipitation Over the Himalaya

From Climate Dynamics: The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is used to simulate the spatiotemporal distribution of precipitation over central Asia over the year April 2005 through March 2006. Experiments are performed at 6.7 km horizontal grid spacing, with an emphasis on winter and summer precipitation over the Himalaya. The model and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission show a similar inter-seasonal cycle of precipitation, from extratropical cyclones to monsoon precipitation, with agreement also in the diurnal cycle of monsoon precipitation… These results indicate that WRF provides skillful simulations of precipitation relevant for studies of water resources over the complex terrain in the Himalaya.”

Read more about the WRF model here:

Snow over Kanjin Gompa, Nepal (Source: Raini Svensson/Creative Commons).

Snow over Kanjin Gompa, Nepal (Source: Raini Svensson/Creative Commons).

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