Posts by Nick Smith

Photo Friday: Glacier Melt and the 2014 AGU Conference

Posted by on Dec 26, 2014 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Science | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Glacier Melt and the 2014 AGU Conference

Spread the News:ShareLast week, the fall meeting of the American Geophysics Union wrapped up in San Francisco. The meeting is the largest annual gathering of Earth and space scientists. This year about 24,000 people were in attendance. Hundreds of oral and poster presentations across all areas of geophysical research marked this year’s meeting, which included several findings on glacier melt rates from around the world. Here are a few of the more stunning pictures of glaciers from around the world to be discussed at the conference. Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at glacierhub@gmail.com. Snow_June_4 glacialerratic_NH-300x168 DSC04559-2 DSC03396-2 7166014680_26bb9c4af3_k Spread the...

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For An Alien World, Look No Further Than Iceland

Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts | 0 comments

For An Alien World, Look No Further Than Iceland

Spread the News:ShareAfter hundreds of years, the Svinafellsjokull Glacier is ready for its close-up. The Icelandic glacier has a starring role in Interstellar, the sci-fi movie about a team of astronauts lead by Matthew McConaughey that travel to a distant planet in search of a new home for the human race as the Earth becomes uninhabitable. The glacier, and Vatnajökull National Park where it resides, are stand ins for the of icy, alien world the film is meant to depict. Little set dressing was required for the mid-September 2013 shoot, only a huge model of McConaughey’s space ship was brought to the section of Iceland’s largest glacier. “How would you recreate the biggest glacier in Europe in a studio?” said actor David Gyasi, who plays one of the astronauts, in a promotional video for the movie. “You wouldn’t.” The glacier is getting plenty of exposure worldwide thanks to the movie. Interstellar has taken in more than $200 million at the international box office since it opened last week. The space epic isn’t director Christopher Nolan’s first time filming at the glacier. In 2005’s Batman Begins, Nolan used Svinafellsjokull and other areas of Iceland as stand ins for the Tibetan Himalayas, a remote training ground for Bruce Wayne, where he learns how to fight prior to becoming Batman. Iceland is easier to access for film crews than the Himalayas and other mountain ranges, so the tiny North Atlantic country often plays many real and imagined locations. Iceland’s unique and varied landscapes have also been featured prominently in TV and film before. The country stood in for another alien landscape in Prometheus, the frozen northern region Beyond the Wall in HBO’s Game of Thrones, and the black sands of Iwo Jima in Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. This year has been a big one for glaciers in the movies. GlacierHub previously wrote about Austria’s Hintertux glacier appearing in Snowpiercer, a movie about the last of humanity zooming around a frozen Earth on a train. It’s worth noting that both Snowpiercer and Interstellar feature humans searching for a way out of climate problems plaguing the planet. Perhaps the most feared future in science fiction isn’t a world of warm temperatures and high seawater, but one too frozen for people to live.         Spread the...

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As Glaciers Melt, They Hum Too

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News, Science | 0 comments

As Glaciers Melt, They Hum Too

Spread the News:ShareThe hills are alive with the sound of… humming? Scientists from the U.S., France and Switzerland recently found that as glaciers melt, they make a low humming sound as water passes through them, according to a new study appearing last month in the journal Geology. The phenomenon was first observed in the Swiss Alps when a research team placed seismometers near a glacial lake dammed by the Gorner Glacier on the side of the Monte Rosa Massif in an effort to monitor signs of glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs). As the water from the lake drained through the glacier, the seismometers picked up tiny “harmonic tremors” in the mountain glacier, as well as similar humming sounds made by icequakes near the glacier’s base. Part of the reason for the humming is that glaciers aren’t just big solid blocks of ice. Water moves through glaciers in an ever-evolving and complex series of tiny cracks, crevasses and channels (hydrofractures) within the glaciers themselves. Small pockets of water open and close within glaciers all the time as water flows from one part to another. Though how exactly this englacier water (that is, water within a glacier) moves isn’t yet fully understood. The seismographs were able to measure the hums as water-filled cracks within the glacier opened and closed, but the humming noises were often at such a low frequency that a human ear could not detect them. Humming glaciers are more than just a curious scientific phenomenon. The paper’s authors state that further research into the hums at the Gorner Glacier might lead to the development of an early warning system against GLOFs. In other words, glaciers may have a built-in alarm systems. GLOFS are difficult to predict because water draining from the lakes can follow a number of different paths over, under or through a glacier that is acting as a boundary or border for the lake, holding the lake water in place. Just watching the surface of the lake isn’t enough to predict when a massive flood will occur. Fortunately, when glaciers go, they don’t go quietly. Spread the...

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Photo Friday: Around Ausangate

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in All Posts, Communities, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Around Ausangate

Spread the News:ShareAbout 100 kilometers southeast of Cuzco sits the majestic Ausangate mountain, which is surrounded by herds of alpaca and communities of llama herders. The mountain was considered a deity by the Incans and today backpackers enjoy the Ausengate circuit, a hike that circles the mountain in five or six days. Here is a selection of photos from along the route, courtesy of Flickr users Rick McCharles, Tim Farley, Josh, Indrik myneur, and Aaron Korr. Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at glacierhub@gmail.com. Ausengate (Josh/Flickr) Ausangate Ausangate (Josh/Flickr) Ausangate (Tim Farley/Flickr) Ausangate (Josh/Flickr) Ausangate (Aaron Kor/Flickr) Ausangate (Rick McCharles/Flickr) Ausangate (Rick McCharles/Flickr) Spread the...

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Photo Friday: A Hike Up Wheeler Peak

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

Photo Friday: A Hike Up Wheeler Peak

Spread the News:ShareThere’s a tiny glacier clinging to the side of Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park in western Nevada. Once upon a time, the Wheeler Peak Glacier was so massive it carved the mountain into its current shape, but now it only measures 300 by 400 feet. The National Parks Service estimates that if temperatures continue to rise, the glacier will disappear entirely in as few as 20 years. Flickr user brewbooks took a few pictures of the glacier from a 2009 hike up to the summit. See more images in his album on Flickr. Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at glacierhub@gmail.com. Wheeler Peak Glacier 1 (brewbooks/Flickr) Wheeler Peak Glacier 2 (brewbooks/Flickr) Wheeler Peak Glacier 3 (brewbooks/Flickr) Wheeler Peak Glacier 4 (brewbooks/Flickr) Wheeler Peak Glacier 5 (brewbooks/Flickr) Wheeler Peak Glacier 6 (brewbooks/Flickr) Wheeler Peak Glacier 7 (brewbooks/Flickr) Spread the...

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