Posts Tagged "glacier"

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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Glaciers on other planets?

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

Glaciers on other planets?

Spread the News:ShareIn light of Pluto’s newest photos from the New Horizons spacecraft mission, this Photo Friday showcases photos of the surprisingly snowy and mountainous geology of planetary bodies. While not quite glacial, check out these photos of dwarf planet Pluto’s icy mountains and the snow-capped poles of Mars below. Pluto's Icy Mountains Mars' Northern Polar Ice Cap Mars' Snowy Icecaps Our understanding of the composition and processes of glaciers on Earth helps scientists understand glacial-like geology in space. Pluto’s newfound mountain ranges are estimated to be as tall as the Rocky Mountains, at around 11,000 feet. The mountains are likely composed of water-ice “bedrock.” At 100 million years old, the mountains are relatively young, at least in comparison to the age of the 4.567 billion-year-old solar system. Meanwhile, the planet Mars has two permanent ice caps that scientists have long known about. Both poles are comprised of water-ice, like Pluto’s mountains, and are occasionally covered with thick, frozen carbon dioxide. For more information about Mars’ polar ice caps, check out this past GlacierHub article. Or instead, switch your direction of sight and see Earth’s glaciers viewed from space here. Spread the...

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PhotoFriday: Is the Mountain Out?

Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in All Posts, Communities, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

PhotoFriday: Is the Mountain Out?

Spread the News:ShareEvery city has its slang. In Seattle, Washington, and throughout the Puget Sound region, the phrase “the mountain is out” is part of the everyday weather lexicon. Seattleites refer to “the mountain” and no one doubts which mountain is being discussed. Towering 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S and can be seen from far and wide. There are 25 major glaciers on Mount Rainier. According to the US National Park Service, “the Emmons Glacier has the largest area (4.3 square miles) and the Carbon Glacier has the lowest terminus altitude (3,600 feet) of all glaciers in the contiguous 48 states.” “Is the mountain out?” is another way to say, “is Rainier visible?” or simply “is it sunny?” Especially in Seattle, where the weather is notoriously overcast and grey, clear skies reveal a beautiful mountain-scape. The "mountain is out" in Seattle. Credit: Maëlick, Flickr Glaciers of Mount Rainier overlaid on a base map LIDAR image, which shows the topography of the volcano. Image created by United States Geologic Survey (USGS), in 2012. Glaciated peaks at airplane altitudes in Washington. Credit: Allyza Lustig Rainier looms over the freeway in Seattle. Credit: Allyza Lustig Using photos from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Sameer Halai created a time-lapse video that captured the view from Seattle’s Kerry Park at 3 p.m. daily. He found that the mountain was “out” 83 times during 2012, roughly once every 4 to 5 days. The phrase has inspired artists at the Seattle Times, and even landed its very own Twitter feed, with regular updates on Rainier’s status. For regular updates closer to the mountain, check out the U.S. National Park Service live webcams.   Spread the...

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