Posts Tagged "glacier"

Photo Friday: Jotunheimen National Park

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images, Tourism | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Jotunheimen National Park

Spread the News:ShareJotunheimen National Park in southern Norway contains more than 250 mountains, including Norway’s two tallest peaks, Galdhøpiggen (2469 metres above sea level) and Glittertind (2465 metres above sea level). Its name means “Home of the Giants” and it is located within the Scandinavian Mountains. Its glacier-carved landscape is a popular camping, hiking and fishing location, as the park’s official website explains. With up to 60 glaciers, the spectacular scenery and diverse wildlife – including reindeer, elk, deer, wolverine and lynx – make it a popular tourist destination.               The park attracts thousands of people every year, ranging from those looking for easier hikes, to those seeking thrilling adventures, as can be seen in this video.     Check out more photos of Jotunheimen National Park here.   Spread the...

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Ice-core Evidence of Copper Smelting 2700 Years Ago

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Science | 0 comments

Ice-core Evidence of Copper Smelting 2700 Years Ago

Spread the News:ShareThe mysterious Moche civilization originated on the northern coast of Peru in 200-800 AD. It was known for its metal work, considered by some to be the most accomplished of any Andean civilization. But were the Moche the first Andean culture to originate copper smelting in South America? While the Moche left comprehensive archaeological evidence of an early sophisticated use of copper, the onset of copper metallurgy is still debated. Some peat-bog records (records of spongy decomposing vegetation) from southern South America demonstrate that copper smelting occurred earlier, around 2000 BC. The question motivated Anja Eichler et al. to launch a massive study of copper emission history. The details of the findings were subsequently published in a paper in Nature. Eichler, an analytical chemistry scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, and her team presented a 6500-year copper emission history for the Andean Altiplano based on glacier ice-core records. This is a new methodology applied to trace copper smelting. “Copper is often referred to as the ‘backbone of Andean metallurgy – the mother of all Andean metals,’” Eichler explained to GlacierHub. “However, in contrast to the early copper metallurgy in the Middle East and Europe, very little information existed about its onset in the Andes.” The ice-core they used for their research was drilled at the Illimani Glacier in Bolivia in 1999, nearby sites of the ancient cultures. It provides the first complete history of large-scale copper smelting activities in South America and revealed extensive copper metallurgy. Illimani is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Oriental and the second highest peak in Bolivia. When asked about how she started her research, Eichler told GlacierHub, “I got involved in the project in 2012. At that time, PhD students and a post-doc had already obtained exciting findings and secrets revealed by ice-core records. We started looking at copper and lead as traces from copper and silver mining and smelting in the Andes.” The results of Eichler et al.’s study suggest that the earliest anthropogenic copper pollution occurred between 700–50 BC, during the central Andean Chiripa and Chavin cultures, around 2700 years ago, meaning that copper was produced extensively much earlier than people originally thought. “For the first time, our study provides substantial evidence for extensive copper metallurgy already during these early cultures,” said Eichler. One of the most challenging parts of the research is that copper can show up in the ice core from natural as well as human sources. Eichler’s team accounted for this by calculating the copper Enrichment Factor, which is applied widely to distinguish the natural and anthropogenic origin of metal. The principle of this methodology is to measure the occurrence of different metals. If copper appeared naturally due to wind erosion, it would be found in association with other metals that co-occur with it naturally. However, according to Eichler’s findings, there was only copper in central Andean Chiripa and Chavin cultures, without cerium or the other metals that occur with it in natural deposits. Hence, it was anthropogenic. The Chiripa culture existed from 1400 BC to 850 BC along the southern shore of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia,  near Illimani Glacier. Soon after the Chiripa, came the Chavin culture, a prehistoric civilization that developed in the northern Andean highlands of Peru from 900 BC to 200 BC, named for Chavín de Huantar, the principal archaeological site where their artifacts have been found. Copper objects from these earlier cultures are scanty. The reason why there is no sufficient archaeological evidence of copper usage, according to Eichler, is that very often artifacts were reused by subsequent cultures. “It is known that metallic objects cast by civilizations were typically scavenged from artifacts of their predecessors,”...

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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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