Posts Tagged "glacier"

Roundup: Studying and Dancing to Melting Glaciers

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Roundup | 0 comments

Roundup: Studying and Dancing to Melting Glaciers

Spread the News:ShareDancing to the tune of a melting glacier: CoMotion tackles climate change From 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:  “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:  “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. Spread the...

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Photo Friday: Studying Microbes on Glacier

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Featured Posts, Images, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Studying Microbes on Glacier

Spread the News:ShareAny avid hiker or mountaineer would agree life as a scientist studying microbes on glaciers is not too bad. Just look the business trips they get to make. Italian scientists Dr. Andrea Franzetti, environmental microbiologist, and his colleague Dr. Roberto Ambrosini, ecologist, took a trip to Baltoro Glacier in Pakistan to collect data and bacteria samples for their latest work on supraglacial microbes. Temporary office (base camp) on Baltoro Glacier, Pakistan with Gasherbrum I in the background. K2, second highest mountain in the world, shot from Baltoro Glacier. Dr. Roberto Ambrosini taking measurements in cryoconite hole on Baltoro Glacier with Mitre Peak in the background. Checking instrumentation on Baltoro Glacier Spread the...

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Photo Friday: Mount Hood Glaciers

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images, Tourism | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Mount Hood Glaciers

Spread the News:ShareAt 11,250 feet, Mount Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon, and a volcano that could erupt at some point, even if it likely wouldn’t be an explosive one. It’s also host to a dozen glaciers, which have even formed glacial caves. Climate change is having an effect, as the northwest glaciers are melting away. With the amazing view from Mt. Hood, the exploration of its glaciers plays an important role in understanding regional climate. “The big value is in mapping change. Not just a snapshot in time but mapping the change.” said Eddy Cartay, a member of the Glacier Cave Explorers. He and his group member are exploring the glacier caves. Expedition doctor Woody Peebles explores a new lead in the caves Mt. Hood shadow sunrise Mount-Hood Mt Hood Territory   Spread the...

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Doctor Accused of Taking Artifacts from Glacier

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News | 0 comments

Doctor Accused of Taking Artifacts from Glacier

Spread the News:ShareA doctor from Mono County, California has been accused of looting Native American artifacts from a melting glacier on public and tribal lands in Death Valley National Park. Jonathan Bourne, an anesthesiologist, was indicted on 21 counts of looting following a yearlong investigation that began after he posted photos of himself finding a wooden bow out of a receding glacier in the High Sierra. Dart points, obsidian cutting tools, stone tablets and glass beads were also among Bourne’s alleged findings. Some of these artifacts are believed to have been removed from a cremation and burial site in the Humboldt–Toiyabe National Forest. “Collecting artifacts on public lands is not harmless fun — it’s a serious crime,” Greg Haverstock, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management archaeologist told the Los Angeles Times. “It damages archaeological records and the shared heritage of our nation. It also impacts tribal members who regard the removal of such items as sacrilegious.” Archaeologists reported wood splinters they found in the glacier matched the wood in Bourne’s bow. Investigators from the U.S. Forest Service found about 30,000 ancient items in a search of his mansion, according to authorities. Bob Burd, a resident of Fresno who organised the hike where Bourne found the bow, wrote on a hiking club website that Bourne used stones to cut through the ice that surrounded the bow. No mention has been made of which Native American community the bow comes from. Bourne’s lawyer, Mark Coleman said Bourne “spotted a piece of wood, which appeared to be recently exposed from an ice patch as a result of global warming. Recognizing that if the item had any historical significance it would quickly decay from exposure, Dr. Bourne recovered the item.” Last week, the doctor pleaded not guilty in court and will return before the judge later this year. If convicted, Bourne’s charges could amount to 98 years in prison and $2.03 million in fines. It is not the first case to address the unlawful removal of Native American artifacts from public and tribal lands. Spread the...

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Tracking Glaciers & Rivers in Bhutan

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Science | 1 comment

Tracking Glaciers & Rivers in Bhutan

Spread the News:ShareLess than a decade back Bhutan transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a democracy. Although right to information was enshrined in their constitution, availing reports and info concerning glaciers, health of rivers and status of hydropower projects remains a challenge to this day. Most government reports are neither published, nor readily uploaded on to websites, and therefore seldom available for public consumption. Keeping this in mind, we at the South Asia program of International Rivers, a nonprofit, compiled ‘Bhutan Rivers Watch’, a one-stop repository of blogs, reports, analysis and latest news from the Himalayan kingdom. Bhutan, a global hot spot of hydropower development, has 76 identified dam sites with a potential to generate 23,760-megawatts. Most of these projects are in the planning stage, while Bhutan looks to expedite undertakings that will take them towards the 10,000-megawatt mark in the next decade. These interventions will make significant changes in the riverine and physical environment. Bhutanese rivers are glacier fed, and it is estimated that glaciers cover approximately 1,300 square kilometers of sovereign territory. The Government has been tracking changes in climate by monitoring precipitation, glacial melt, and the changing hydrology of the main river basins. At a meeting organized by International Rivers in Bhutan last year, we learned from officials that glaciers are receding 20-30 meters each year, and in some cases there has been a 75-cm thinning of the ice sheet. But what is most worrisome for the scientific community, and decision makers, is the occurrence of glacial lake outburst floods. In the mid 1980’s Bhutan and India conducted joint surveys of glaciers and glacial lakes and concluded that there was no danger to downstream communities. But sadly a glacial lake outburst killed more than 20 people in October 1994, as a raging wall of water wreaked havoc in the upper reaches of the Punatsangchhu River basin. Since then many field studies have been conducted, and the government of Bhutan has been monitoring the glaciers and glacial lakes to ascertain potential impacts on hydropower dams as well as communities living near the river. We now know that more than 20 outburst floods have occurred in the past two hundred years. According to a 2012 conference held in Thimphu, the nation’s capital, 25 glacial lakes have been identified as ticking time bombs and potentially dangerous. Given the remote locations, officials of the government of Bhutan travel often 3 days by foot to monitor these glacial lakes. These floods could cause dam breaks, which would be catastrophic not just in Bhutan, but also more than a hundred kilometers downstream in India. We know it is important to keep people in the loop regarding decisions that impact river health and public safety. This lies at the heart of our efforts, and we’ve dedicated an entire page to tracking planned, under construction and commissioned hydropower projects in Bhutan. To view the latest status of projects, click here. The seventh article of the Bhutanese Constitution declares: “A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to information”. Yet, impact assessment studies, for instance, aren’t available in public domain, and as a result there is little public debate and scrutiny on how climate change, receding glaciers and glacial lakes can impact infrastructure such as dams and hydropower projects. This is because of supporting clauses in the constitution that state: “All persons in Bhutan shall have the right to initiate appropriate proceedings in the Supreme Court or High Court for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Article, subject to section 22 of this Article and procedures prescribed by law.” This section establishes notions of...

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