Posts Tagged "new Zealand"

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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Rockslide on Glacier Exacerbates Flooding in New Zealand

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News | 0 comments

Rockslide on Glacier Exacerbates Flooding in New Zealand

Spread the News:ShareOn 2 January 2013, large piles of rock tumbled down Mt. Evans in New Zealand. The avalanches, set off by the collapse of the mountain’s west ridge, sent rocks onto the Evans and County Glaciers and eroded snow and ice. As the rocks tumbled down, they triggered flooding in the Wanganui River. The event was not the first time rock avalanches caused severe damage in the region; glaciers, landslides and rivers are the main cause of erosion in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.  Historically, rockslides such as these occurred once every hundred years, according to a new report by authors J.M. Carey, G.T. Hancox and M.J. McSaveney, but have increased in recent decades. There were 4 per decade between 1976 and 1999 and more than 20 per decade since 1999. Some, the report found, are caused by the region’s frequent earthquakes, but many of these rock avalanches cannot be attributed to one factor alone. Instead, factors including heavy rainfall, high slopes and fractured rock each contribute to avalanche-prone rock conditions. Understanding the underlying causes and effects of rock avalanches can help researchers assess the likelihood of future rock avalanches and the potential damage they will cause. Already, researchers expect boulders above the Evans Glacier to collapse at any time onto the ice. “The increase may relate to accumulating geodetic strain in the region as the change in occurrence rate correlates closely with change in accumulating seismic moment release in the New Zealand region,” wrote the authors. “It also has been linked to global climate change which is likely an additional rather than an alternative influence.” The consequences of frequent rockslides can be severe. In the case of the most recent event on Mt. Evans, rocks travelling at 35 meters per second, or 78 miles per hour, set in motion cascading events which inundated farmland, cut off a road and severed a fibre optic cable. The floods were initially attributed to heavy rainfall, but a reconnaissance mission five and a half months later revealed that the landslide onto the Evans Glacier was the main trigger. Heavy rains exacerbated the flooding in the Wanganui River. “The rock avalanche onto Evans Glacier ran out at high speed onto a broad flooded river flat over a kilometre long,” the authors wrote. “The rock avalanche significantly bulked up with snow and flood water and also may have bulked up with alluvium [deposit left by flood water] and possibly old glacial deposits.” Spread the...

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Roundup: NZ photos, vanishing ice art, murder mystery

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts, Images, News, Roundup | 0 comments

Roundup: NZ photos, vanishing ice art, murder mystery

Spread the News:ShareGlacier melting recorded by photos “A series of photographs taken over 10 years has revealed the dramatic changes to one of New Zealand’s most famous glacier.The Massey University scientists who took the pictures – at the same time each year during surveys – say the changes to Fox Glacier on the South Island’s West Coast are also having a major impact on the surrounding landscape, with the valley rising by more than a metre in the last two years.” Read more about these photos here. Vanishing Ice Exhibition across Canada “The exhibit shows climate change in a new way, says Barbara Matilsky, the curator behindVanishing Ice. “Many people are aware of the critical importance of ice for the planet,” she says, adding that she wanted to focus on how the artistic legacy of ice has helped shape Western views of the natural world. The exhibition — which contains over seventy works by fifty artists from twelve countries — begins a three-month run on Saturday at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario (before this, it visited Calgary’s Glenbow Museum.) Because it covers a span of over two centuries, the exhibition provides some unique opportunities to see changes, both in the icy landscapes themselves and society’s view of them.” Read more about this exhibition here. New murder mystery ““Fortitude,” an ambitious 12-episode murder mystery beginning on last Thursday night, takes place in two unusual locales. One is its slightly fantastical far-far-north setting, a fictional Arctic island — based on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard — where a small international community is outnumbered by polar bears; crime is thought to be nonexistent; and anyone near death is exiled to the mainland, because bodies can’t be buried in the permafrost.” Read more about this here. Spread the...

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Going to Extremes: Glacier Boarding, a New Sport

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Tourism | 0 comments

Going to Extremes: Glacier Boarding, a New Sport

Spread the News:ShareAs glaciers the world over melt, some adventure athletes are turning the ice into an extreme playground—and bringing along photographers to record their exploits. One of the new sports they are trying is called glacier boarding, but what that means exactly may depend on who you ask. In Switzerland, canyon guides Claude-Alain Gailland and Gilles Janin recently took boogie boards out to Altesch glacier, Europe’s largest. Then they donned flippers, wetsuits and helmets, dropped those boogie boards into a freezing liquid channel carved into the ice, and careened around the snaking glacial river while photographer David Carlier snapped shots from above. 7 adventure sports you didn’t know existed… #4 – Glacier Boarding: http://t.co/rtdMoAstaT pic.twitter.com/nnOpmMAMaV — Cotswold Outdoor (@CotswoldOutdoor) November 16, 2014 This particular form of glacier boarding is a bit like riding a boogie board through a slide at a water-park, only you risk hypothermia, being overtaken by glacial floods, getting hit by falling or protruding ice, or falling into a deep bottomless crevasse, according to a listicle of emergent adventure sports on the website of energy drink maker RedBull. Redbull assigned the sport an insanity level of 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is craziest. Of course, not many people have tried it, so rarity: also a 10. Training required: High. But the term glacier boarding is also used to refer simply to snowboarding on a glacier, typically one covered in fresh powder, a relatively common sport. A team of snow boarders over in New Zealand was recently dropped onto the glaciers of Methven by helicopter, as part of a shoot for next year’s Burton Snowboards catalogue. They spent the next 10 days exploring the best places to do tricks and get perfect shots. What makes glacier snowboarding different from regular snowboarding is that the terrain can be icier, and ice formations can allow for more dramatic boarding moves, like the one shown below. Ever heard of Glacierboarding? Taking it to a whole new level! Find more here: http://t.co/0DYJBqga4w #extreme pic.twitter.com/YeJSvc3Kcz — Francesco Facca (@FraFacca) November 18, 2014 Jeff Curtes, who photographed the New Zealand group, told Oceans2Vibe, “We pick terrain that we end up riding because it generally looks ‘right’ and ‘doable’. When Jussi [one of the snowboarders] and the team saw the ice their eyes lit up with possibilities.” They also took extensive safety precautions, he said. But it was so warm that the powder snow had melted, which made the adventure a bit more dangerous, because they “were forced to play and shoot in the ice.” Glacier snowboarding videos abound on youtube. Here’s one, below, of some snowboarders on Farnham glacier in British Columbia in September 2013. Glacierhub recently wrote about another extreme glacier sport that was very short-lived: glacier wave surfing. It was so terrifying and dangerous, in fact, that the guys who invented it only attempted it once, and never went back. Spread the...

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In state of the climate report, mountain glaciers get special attention

Posted by on Aug 14, 2014 in All Posts, Science | 0 comments

In state of the climate report, mountain glaciers get special attention

Spread the News:ShareThe year 2013 hasn’t been a good one for climate change (as you might’ve guessed) and mountain glaciers have been singled out, according to a new report released by the National Climatic Data Center. The largest climate data archive in the world sits in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains and contains 14 petabytes of information, enough to stream 23 million movies. Asheville, N.C. is home to the NCDC, a division within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – that provides climatological services and data worldwide. For the last 24 years, NCDC scientists have been producing an annual report on the state of the world’s climate. These reports provide updates on global and regional climate and notable weather from the preceding year. Published by the American Meteorological Society in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), this report is a large international collaboration. The most recent report, covering the year 2013, involved over 400 scientists from 57 countries. Among the 2013 report’s distinguished highlights, along with carbon dioxide levels topping 400 parts per million, and the record-breaking super-typhoon Haiyan, is the news about mountain glaciers. The supplementary report begins by explain the importance of these glaciers: “Around the globe, some 370 million people live in basins where rivers derive at least 10 percent of their seasonal discharge from glacier melt. Glacier melt provides drinking water for human populations, and irrigation water for crops. Dams on glacier-fed rivers are key sources of hydroelectric power in some parts of the world. The retreat of the majority of mountain glaciers worldwide is one of the clearest signs that climate is warming over the long term; some glaciers have already disappeared.” The report indicates that mountain glaciers lost more ice from melt than they gained from seasonal snow-fall for the 23rd year in a row. This pattern is expected to continue. Since 1980, glaciers have lost the equivalent of 50 feet (more than 15 meters) of water. Five regions with long histories of data are used in the report as a barometer for the health of mountain glacier: Austria, Norway, New Zealand, Nepal, and the Northern Cascades of Washington State. The news – a pattern dominated by loss – is grim. Of the 96 glaciers evaluated in the Austrian Alps, 93 are retreating, two are stable, and just one is advancing. Norway is much the same: 26 of the 33 are retreating, another four are stable, and only three are advancing. Things are worse in North America (the 14 glaciers of the Northern Cascades in Washington State and Alaska are all significantly retreating) and in New Zealand, where all 50 are anticipated to have retreated by the end of the 2013 melt season. Only in Nepal, where the 3 glaciers monitored are near equilibrium, this near-balance reflects an unusually good year. In 2013, those glaciers received the largest amount of snow accumulation in the last seven years. The plight of diminishing mountain glaciers has serious implications for the health, food, energy resources and livelihoods of the 370 million people who live close to them. There are also serious effects in adjacent lowlands. Just as steady upward trend of the Keeling Curve of carbon dioxide concentrations is closely watched, so should be its apparent reflection: the glacier mass balance curve, shown each year in the State of the Climate report for the world to see. This year’s’ report and all previous reports are available for free download online. Spread the...

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