Posts Tagged "new Zealand"

For New Zealand Visitors, Helicopters Offer Only Way Onto Two Glaciers

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News, Tourism | 3 comments

For New Zealand Visitors, Helicopters Offer Only Way Onto Two Glaciers

Spread the News:ShareThe only way for visitors to walk on two iconic glaciers in New Zealand, the Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers, is by taking a helicopter ride— a situation that probably won’t change in the foreseeable future, a spokesperson for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation has told GlacierHub. The Associated Press reported in March, under the headline “Hiking on New Zealand glaciers banned because of rapid melting,” that it had become impossible for visitors to hike up onto these glaciers because of the dangers posed by their quick recession. It also noted that the number of people who could walk on the glaciers had been cut in half now that helicopters have become the only way to venture onto them, compared to before when people could hike up onto them. Jose Watson, a communications adviser for the Department of Conservation in New Zealand, explained the situation in an email to GlacierHub: There are rivers that come out of the terminal face (front) of the glacier and these rivers often change course meaning that tracks, bridges and viewing points are regularly moved. The glacier is receding, and has reached a point where it is no longer possible to access on foot, so if people want to walk on the glacier they can do so by booking a helihike with one of the guiding companies. A helihike takes people up onto a safe spot on the glacier and walk goes from there. Walking access has not been “banned” as such, but it’s not possible, or safe at the moment, and this situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. While helicopters might be a quick and exciting way for tourists to see the glaciers, they are not without their risks— last year, a Squirrel helicopter crashed on the Fox Glacier, claiming the lives of seven people. That deadly event was one of seven accidents involving aircraft and glaciers in New Zealand since 2008. Fox Glacier crash: Four British tourists killed in New Zealand helicopter accident https://t.co/ZlxYsWAhbR pic.twitter.com/Ky9lGuPOm6 — The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 21, 2015 Almost one million people traveled to see New Zealand’s glaciers in 2015, the Associated Press reported. The beautiful glaciers and striking scenery are part of what lures people to the country. “It’s the uniqueness, the rawness of the environment,” Rob Jewell, chairman of the Glacier Country Tourism Group, told the AP.   And for now, unfortunately, helicopters are the only way to experience that raw environment on these two shrinking glaciers. Spread the...

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Roundup: Fewer Hikers, Less Pollen, More Algae on Glaciers

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Roundup | 0 comments

Roundup: Fewer Hikers, Less Pollen, More Algae on Glaciers

Spread the News:ShareEach week, we highlight three stories from the forefront of glacier news. New Zealand Glaciers Banned Hiking From Mashable.com: “New Zealand is renowned for its wondrous scenery, and among the country’s top tourist attractions are two glaciers that are both stunning and unusual because they snake down from the mountains to a temperate rain forest, making them easy for people to walk up to and view. The hot weather has even created a new type of tourist attraction over the other side of the mountains. Purdie said the glaciers there are also rapidly retreating, resulting in tourists taking boat rides on the lakes to see some of the massive icebergs that have begun to shear away.” Read more about this policy here. Microalgal Community Structures in Cryoconite Holes upon High-Arctic Glaciers of Svalbard From Biogeosciences: “Glaciers are known to harbor surprisingly complex ecosystems. On their surface, distinct cylindrical holes filled with meltwater and sediments are considered hot spots for microbial life. The present paper addresses possible biological interactions within the community of prokaryotic cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae (microalgae) and relations to their potential grazers, such as tardigrades and rotifers, additional to their environmental controls. Svalbard glaciers with substantial allochthonous input of material from local sources reveal high microalgal densities. Selective wind transport of Oscillatoriales via soil and dust particles is proposed to explain their dominance in cryoconites further away from the glacier margins. We propose that, for the studied glaciers, nutrient levels related to recycling of limiting nutrients are the main factor driving variation in the community structure of microalgae and grazers.” Read more about microalgal community structures here. Pollen Limitation in Nival Plants of European Central Alps From American Journal of Botany: ” A plant is considered to be pollen-limited when—due to an insufficient supply with pollen of adequate quality—the seed output remains below the potential value. Pollen limitation is thought to be a general phenomenon under the harsh climatic conditions at high latitudes and elevations. Our study in the alpine–nival ecotone revealed that insect activity is not a limiting factor for pollination success in the studied plant species, which can be explained by the fact that anthesis functions and pollinator activity are largely coupled. ” Learn more about pollen limitation here. Spread the...

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Helicopter Crashes in New Zealand Glacier

Posted by on Nov 26, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News | 0 comments

Helicopter Crashes in New Zealand Glacier

Spread the News:ShareA helicopter flying over the Fox Glacier in New Zealand crashed during bad weather last weekend, killing all seven passengers. Four of the victims were British tourists and two were Australian. The pilot, who had 3,000 hours of flying experience, was from New Zealand. The main body of the helicopter was found crushed between blocks of ice the size of houses and debris from the crash was spread across 100 meters. Rugged conditions made it difficult for rescuers to retrieve the bodies. The region has experienced bad weather since the beginning of the tourist season, with low hanging clouds and rains. A local official, Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, told the Telegraph, a British newspaper. Fox Glacier crash: Four British tourists killed in New Zealand helicopter accident https://t.co/ZlxYsWAhbRpic.twitter.com/Ky9lGuPOm6 — The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 21, 2015 Glaciers on New Zealand’s Southern Island have retreated in recent years, forcing tourism companies to fly tourists to glaciers by helicopter, Kokshoorn added. Tourists typically take a ten-minute flight to the Fox Glacier and walk around for half an hour before returning. Since 2008, there have been seven plane and helicopter accidents on glaciers in New Zealand. Earlier this year a helicopter crashed on the Poerua Glacier in Westland National Park. The three people on board survived. Four tourists survived when their helicopter rolled on the Richardson Glacier in 2014 and in 2013 11 people were rescued when two helicopters collided on the Tyndall Glacier. 7 feared dead in New Zealand helicopter crash: https://t.co/OvOKPr24llpic.twitter.com/pyiOEqNvUW — CNN International (@cnni) November 21, 2015 “We’re hurting. It’s a real tragedy today,” Rob Jewell, chairman of the Glacier Country Tourism Group, said in a statement. “We’ll just do what we can to make this as easy as we can for everybody, and obviously our thoughts are with those who lost their lives today and their families and friends.” Questions have been raised about whether the helicopter should have been allowed to fly under bad conditions. Officials have been sent to the scene to investigate the incident. Spread the...

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Roundup: Glacier Paddleboarding and Ice Loss in the Southern Hemisphere

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News, Sports | 0 comments

Roundup: Glacier Paddleboarding and Ice Loss in the Southern Hemisphere

Spread the News:Share Paddleboarders soak up splendors of Glacier Bay for 4 days “A typical summer day in 3.3-million-acre Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve might see cruise boats, kayakers and anglers on the water, hikers on shore, flightseers in the air. And increasingly, paddleboarders paddling among ice floes.” Read more about this new trend here.   Studying glaciers before they vanish “[A] just-released report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences…. concluded that the National Science Foundation — which runs U.S. Antarctic programs — should make research on Antarctica’s sea level implications its top priority, with a particular emphasis on West Antarctica. That’s because much of its ice is below sea level and thus ‘vulnerable to a runaway collapse process known as marine ice sheet instability.’ ‘There is an urgent need to understand this process in order to better assess how future sea level rise from ice sheets might proceed,’ the report stated.” Click here to read more. New Zealand’s glaciers have shrunk by a third – report “The government report released on Wednesday says the volume of glacier ice has dropped by 36 percent since 1978 because of rising temperatures. Andrew Mackintosh of Victoria University’s Antarctic Research Centre said globally there was no doubt that human influences had caused glaciers to retreat. He said it has yet to be scientifically demonstrated in New Zealand, but it was very likely humans have played a part. ‘There’s no doubt that New Zealand glaciers have lost a lot of ice during that period, especially since 2008 we’ve seen a rapid loss of ice in the Southern Alps and iconic glaciers like Franz Josef and Fox have retreated dramatically.'” To read more, click here.   Spread the...

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Photo Friday: Timelapse of New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Timelapse of New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier

Spread the News:ShareThe National Snow and Ice Data Center’s Glacier Photograph Collection is an online, ever-expanding, searchable collection of photographs of glaciers. Photos in the collection date back as far as the mid-1800s until the present, making it as an important historical record dating that allows those interested to examine the effect of climate change on glaciers. The collection contained over 15,000 glacial photographs as of June 2010! This week, we take a closer look at New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier, a 12km-long glacier on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Check out the photo timelapse from 1951 to 2015 below! Franz Josef Glacier, Apr 1951 Franz Josef Glacier, Apr 1951. Unknown. 1951 Franz Josef Glacier: From the Glacier Photograph Collection. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media. Franz Josef Glacier, May 1960 Franz Josef Glacier, May 1960. Unknown. 1960 Franz Josef Glacier: From the Glacier Photograph Collection. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media. Franz Josef Glacier, 1999 Franz Josef Glacier, 1999. Zemp, Michael. 1999 Franz Josef Glacier: From the Glacier Photograph Collection. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media. Franz Josef Glacier, Aug 2004 Franz Josef Glacier, Aug 2004. Campbell, Blair Allan. 2004 Franz Josef Glacier: From the Glacier Photograph Collection. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media. Franz Josef Glacier, Jun 2010 Franz Josef Glacier, Jun 2010. Winkler, S. 2010 Franz Josef Glacier: From the Glacier Photograph Collection. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media. Franz Joseph Glacier, Jan 2015 Franz Joseph Glacier, Jan 2015. Fiat, Jean-Pierre. 2015 Franz Josef Glacier: From the Glacier Photograph Collection. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media. Spread the...

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