Roundup: Disappearing Acts, Sound Signatures, and Cryoconite Holes

China’s Disappearing Glaciers

From Chinese Academy of Sciences: “Xinjiang, a land of mountains, forests and deserts, is four times the size of California and is home to 20,000 glaciers — nearly half of all the glaciers in China. Since the 1950s, all of Xinjiang’s glaciers have retreated by between 21 percent to 27 percent.”

Read more about glacial retreat in China here.

The Tianshan No. 1 glacier is rapidly melting—scientific estimates report that the glacier could completely disappear within the next 50 years (Source: Rob Schmitz/NPR).

 

Glaciers Have Signature Sounds

From Sonic Skills: “In early 2015, an international group of geophysicists published an article claiming that particular patterns in the sounds of glaciers might reveal where and how those glaciers were calving. They had made sound recordings with hydrophones—underwater microphones—and taken photos at the same time. This enabled them to link various glacier sounds to distinct forms of ablation through ‘acoustic signatures.’”

Read more about glaciers’ signature acoustics here.

An aerial shot of a tidewater glacier. Sound-recording instruments are used especially for studying movement of tidewater glaciers (Source: Jon Nickles/PIXNIO).

 

Cryoconite Holes on the Qaanaaq Glacier

From Annals of Glaciology: “Cryoconite holes are water-filled cylindrical holes formed on ablation ice surfaces and commonly observed on glaciers worldwide.. Results suggest that the dimensions of holes drastically changed depending on the weather conditions and that frequent cloudy, warm and windy conditions would cause a decay of holes and weathering crust, inducing an increase in the cryoconite coverage on the ice, consequently darkening the glacier surface.”

Read more about cryoconite holes and glacial darkening here.

Aerial photo of meltwater streams in Greenland. Dark spots on the surface of the glacier are the result of cryoconite (Source: Marco Tedesco (NASA)/Flickr).

 

 

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