Roundup: Gender, Dust and Pacific Glaciers

Glaciers, gender, and science

“Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers. Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.”

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The dark biological secret of the cryosphere

“Cryoconite is granular sediment found on glacier surfaces comprising both mineral and biological material. Despite long having been recognised as an important glaciological and biological phenomenon cryoconite remains relatively poorly understood. Here, we appraise the literature on cryoconite for the first time, with the aim of synthesising and evaluating current knowledge to direct future investigations. We review the properties of cryoconite, the environments in which it is found, the biology and biogeochemistry of cryoconite, and its interactions with climate and anthropogenic pollutants. We generally focus upon cryoconite in the Arctic in summer, with Antarctic and lower latitude settings examined individually. We then compare the current state-of-the-science with that at the turn of the twentieth century, and suggest directions for future research including specific recommendations for studies at a range of spatial scales and a framework for integrating these into a more holistic understanding of cryoconite and its role in the cryosphere.”

summit region of Devon Ice Cap, NU
Summit region of Devon Ice Cap, NU(Credit: Awenda-Geomatics/flickr)

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Hooker Glacier Retreat, 1990-2015

Glacier change revealed in Landsat images from 1990 and 2015.  Mueller Glacier (M) and Hooker Glacier (H).  The red arrow indicates 1990 terminus location, the yellow arrow indicates 2015 terminus location and the purple arrow indicates upglacier thinning.

“Hooker Glacier parallels the Tasman Glacier one valley to the west draining south from Mount Hicks and Mount Cook.  Hooker Glacier is a low gradient which helps reduce its overall velocity and  a debris covered ablation zone reducing ablation, both factors increasing response time to climate change  (Quincey and Glasser 2009). Hooker Lake which the glacier ends in began to from around 1982 (Kirkbride, 1993).  In 1990 the lake was 1100 m long (Figure 11.2).  From 1990 to 2015 the lake expanded to 2300 m, with the retreat enhanced by calving. The 1200 m retreat was faster during the earlier part of this period (Robertson et al.,2013).”
Landsat images from 1990 and 2015(Credit: American Geophysical Union)

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