Author / Sarah Kai Zhen Toh

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  • Let it Snow… and Save a Glacier

    News about shrinking glaciers is not uncommon, but have you ever heard of regrowing one artificially? That is exactly what a team of researchers intends to do: use snow machines, also known as Schneekanonen (snow-cannons) in German, to save Morteratsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps. Felix Keller, a glaciologist at the Academia Engiadina in Switzerland,…

  • Photo Friday: Inside Glacier Caves

    Caves can form within glaciers as a result of water running through or under a glacier. They are often called ice caves, but the term more accurately describes caves in bedrock that contain ice throughout the year. Water usually forms on the glacier’s surface through melting, before flowing down a moulin (vertical to nearly vertical shafts…

  • Could Cryoconites Hold the Secrets to Extraterrestrial Life?

    In recent years, scientists have found other locations on planets, moons and exoplanets where life might exist. Different animals and organisms like tardigrades (eight-legged microscopic animals commonly known as water bears) have also been sent into space to explore the conditions for survival away from Earth. However, a recent paper published in the journal Contemporary…

  • Roundup: Kayaks, Snow Machines and Drones

    Roundup: Remote controlled kayaks are being used for research at LeConte Glacier, plans to regrow Morteratsch glacier with snow machines, and the results of using drones to understand the dynamics of Bowdoin Glacier.

  • Using Drones to Study Glaciers

    A new study shows how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can be used to track high-altitude glacier change in a relatively cheap, safe and accurate way.

  • Putin Visits Arctic Glaciers

    President Vladimir Putin recently visited Russia’s Franz Josef Land archipelago in March, where he was briefed about scientific research taking place at the glaciers. He even grabbed an ice pick and carved out a sample from one of the glaciers. The main purpose of the trip was to inspect the progress of a project to…

  • Photo Friday: Edward Theodore Compton’s Artwork

    Edward Theodore Compton, usually referred to as E.T. Compton, was a German painter, illustrator and mountain climber who lived from 1849-1921. He is best known for his paintings and drawings of alpine scenery, many of which also contain glaciers.  Born in London, Compton’s family moved to Darmstadt, Germany, in 1867, for him to continue his education.…

  • Enduring Benefits of Endurance Races

    Sporting events, both major and minor, can have significant impacts on host communities. A recent study published by Stefano Duglio and Riccardo Beltramo in the journal Sustainability examines the social and economic impacts of CollonTrek, a mountain endurance race in the Italian and Swiss Alps. The results reveal that this minor event generates significant economic…

  • Roundup: Karakoram, Dust and Prokaryotes

    Roundup:  Karakoram, Ice Core, and Chile   Karakoram Glaciers in Balance From the Journal of Glaciology: “An anomalously slight glacier mass gain during 2000 to the 2010s has recently been reported in the Karakoram region. We calculated elevation and mass change using Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) generated from KH-9 (a series of satellites) images acquired…

  • A New View on Border Tensions between India and China

    Numerous disputes exist in remote regions of the world where the terrain makes it difficult to secure and manage borders. One well-known example is the Sino-Indian border in the Himalayas. Known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), this line demarcating the frontier between Indian and Chinese-controlled territory is the longest disputed land border in…