Month / June 2017

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  • Photo Friday: A Visit to Volcano Museums in Iceland

    Like millions of other travelers, Gísli Pálsson found that his travel plans were stymied by the 2010 eruption of Iceland’s glacier-covered Mt. Eyjafjallajökull, which canceled transatlantic flights and generated a glacial meltwater flood. As a professor of anthropology at the University of Iceland, Pálsson responded to the inconvenience in a creative way– by starting a project called…

  • Historic Glacier National Park Murals Restored

    Change is a constant theme in the dialogue surrounding Glacier National Park in Montana. Glaciers are retreating rapidly, reducing streamflow and threatening flora and fauna. Sometimes, however, change comes with renewal. One striking case is the recent restoration of a set of murals from the historic Glacier Lodge. Railroad tycoon Louis Hill, president of the…

  • Earthquake in Greenland Triggers Fatal Landslide-Induced Tsunami

    This post, written by David Jacobson, appeared earlier this month on the website Temblor. It has been lightly edited. A M=4.1 earthquake which took place on June 17 on Greenland’s western coast caused a massive landslide, triggering a tsunami that inundated small settlements on the coast. At this stage, four people are feared to have died, nine…

  • Scaling Quelccaya: Depicting Climate Change Through Art

    The Quelccaya Ice Cap, located in the Peruvian Andes, is the world’s largest tropical glaciated area. In an effort to conceptualize the scale of the glacier’s retreat, Meredith Leich, M.F.A. in film, video, media, and new animation at SAIC, and Andrew Malone, Ph.D. in glaciology and climatology at the University of Chicago, collaborated on a project in 2016…

  • Roundup: Greenland Earthquake, Mural Restoration, and Phytoplankton

    Greenland Earthquake Triggers Landslide-Induced Tsunami From Temblor: “Over the weekend, a M=4.1 earthquake on Greenland’s western coast caused a massive landslide, triggering a tsunami that inundated small settlements on the coast. At this stage, four people are feared to have died, nine others were injured, and 11 buildings were destroyed. Glacial earthquakes are a relatively new…

  • Photo Friday: Northwest China’s #1 Glacier

    In February 2016, the government in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region announced that tourists would no longer be permitted to stand atop its retreating glaciers. According to the memo, tourism was a direct cause of glacial retreat. China is home to 46,377 glaciers, and the government has a particular reason to be concerned with the state of its glaciers…

  • Water Stress in the Naryn River Basin

    Around the world, meltwater from snow and glaciers has provided surrounding communities with water for irrigation and hydropower, but climate change is altering the timing and volume of the annual water flow cycle. This issue is pressing in eastern Kyrgyzstan, where the glaciers and snowpack of the Tien Shan Mountains form the headwaters of the Naryn River, which flows…

  • Climate, Economy, Family: Migration in the Bolivian Andes

    High in the Bolivian Andes, the pace of glacial retreat is accelerating, which may significantly decrease the amount of glacial meltwater available to streams and aquifers critical to farming communities in the region’s river basins. In addition to the long-term threat posed by glacial retreat, these communities are also threatened by economic uncertainty and climatic variability.…

  • Putting Your Best Tusk Forward: Narwhals and Climate Research

    In 1576, Queen Elizabeth I paid the equivalent of half a million dollars for a unicorn horn, which she believed could neutralize poison. Of course, it wasn’t a unicorn horn at all, but a narwhal tusk, remarkable in its own right. Today, over 440 years later, narwhals continue to surprise and attract attention. A recent…

  • Glacier Countries Condemn Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement

    Countries around the world were quick to condemn Donald Trump when he announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Unsurprisingly, small countries with glaciers, with their direct experience of climate change, have joined this round of condemnation. However, the details varied from country to country. And relatively few voices in these…