Roundup: Coronavirus Spreads to Glacier Country, A New Antarctic Feedback Loop, and High Avalanche Danger in the Pacific Northwest

Coronavirus Spreading in Mountain Provinces in Western China

The coronavirus first appeared in Hubei province in eastern China. It remains concentrated there, but has spread. A recent World Health Organization map shows cases in Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang––mountainous provinces with many glaciers. In Xinjiang, 45 cases have been confirmed, 18 in Qinghai province, and last week the first case was reported in Tibet. Though indigenous populations are adapted to high altitude, the thin air in these regions may nonetheless present a risk for those who are exposed to the disease, which affects the human respiratory system.

Read the story by Grennan Milliken on GlacierHub here.

The WHO report from February 8 (Source: World Health Organization)

Tracing the Reach of An Interdisciplinary Antarctic Study

A study published in 2018 in the journal Science Advances, has had far-reaching influence in the fields of oceanology and glaciology. The findings are the first to provide evidence that there is currently an ongoing positive feedback loop between the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The research has been cited more than 20 times across a variety of fields and received significant media attention. 

Read the story by Zoë Klobus on GlacierHub here.

Deploying autonomous profilers to measure ocean parameters (Source: David Porter)

High Avalanche Danger After Pacific Northwest Storms

Successive pipelines of moisture-laden Pacific storm systems, known as atmospheric rivers, have produced one of the wettest Januaries for western Washington state on record. The peaks of the Cascade Range, including Mount Baker, among other glaciated stratovolcanoes which spine that US state’s coastline, received more than 20 feet of snow in the first three weeks of the month. The torrent of moisture has continued into February, leading to a “high danger” of avalanches, according to warning issued by the National Weather Service last week. The Northwest Avalanche Center posts real time avalanche advisories, which have since been reduced to moderate threat across most of the affected region.

Read more from the Bellingham Herald here.

Record precipitation in western Washington State has primed avalanche conditions (Source: National Weather Service)

Read More On GlacierHub:

Ancient Viruses Awaken as the Tibetan Plateau Melts

Photo Friday: Province in Turkey Hit by Multiple Avalanches

Crowded Backcountry Ski Slopes Increase Risk of Skiers Endangering Each Other

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