Where Can Alpine Plants Hide from Global Warming?

17 March 2015, by

Environmental conditions, including climate, strongly influence the distribution of plant species. As temperatures continue to rise around the world, many people are concerned about the possible shifts in distribution of plant species, since plants are immobile, and many of them have a limited ability to disperse. These restrictions to changes in their distribution are particularly severe for […]

New Route Up Mt. Everest

11 March 2015, by

Last year’s deadly avalanche on Mt. Everest in Nepal, which killed 16 Sherpas–mountaineering guides indigenous to the region–has led to new safety recommendations for both guides and tourists. The Nepalese authorities have ordered climbers to shift their path up the mountain, to avoid the route of last year’s disaster, according to Vice magazine. The new path […]

Glaciers and Society: Ethnographic Approaches

19 February 2015, by

By Mattias Borg Rasmussen and Karine Gagné According to the 2007 Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the decrease of glaciers is a nearly worldwide phenomenon. But how do local communities experience and comprehend melting glaciers? A range of anthropological studies have examined the relationship between glaciers and societies. While glaciers can be […]

A picture of the Three Gorges Dam, Yangtze River, China

Climate Change Brings Global Energy Concerns

18 February 2015, by

Global reliance on hydroelectric energy production has only increased in the 21st century, even as our supply of hydropower has become increasingly uncertain due to climate change impacts, including glacial retreat. South Asia is a clear example: due to the high cost and political risks of importing fuels like oil or coal, countries in this region have increasingly […]

New Glacial Lakes to Transform Swiss Landscape

27 January 2015, by

Ongoing climate change is causing glaciers in the Swiss Alps to shrink dramatically, and some predict they will disappear entirely by the end of the century. As they melt over the coming decades, Swiss scientists estimate that 500 to 600 new lakes covering close to 50 square kilometers of land will form in Switzerland. That’s […]

Indigenous Livelihoods at Bolivia’s Highest Mountain

15 January 2015, by

A new study conducted at Sajama, the highest mountain in Bolivia, shows that local indigenous populations have been able to adapt to the changes in water resources that result from glacier retreat. Other environmental changes, as well as shifting economic and political circumstances, have also shaped their responses. Villarroel and her coauthors describe the area […]

On Tibetan Plateau, Permafrost Melt Worse Than Glacial Melt

14 January 2015, by

According to a recent study published in the journal Public Library of Science, glacial melt is taking a backseat in the Himalayas to permafrost melt as a central driver of alpine lake expansion and related environmental hazards. This finding is of great importance to policy-makers and communities, who must prepare for flooding and other hazards […]

Roundup: Glacier beds; Laser Scanning; Kenya’s Glaciers

5 January 2015, by

Glacier beds get slipperier as sliding speed increases “As a glacier’s sliding speed increases, the bed beneath the glacier can grow slipperier, according to laboratory experiments conducted by Iowa State University glaciologists. They say including this effect in efforts to calculate future increases in glacier speeds could improve predictions of ice volume lost to the […]

Photo Friday: Miracles on Arid Lands

19 December 2014, by

Some of the most unanticipated glaciers in the world are siting atop Iran’s mountains. Natural glaciers serve as a major fresh water resource in this arid country. Glacier recede plays a crucial role in affecting Iranian water supplies in urbanism, industries, and agriculture. Hence, Project Pressure was instigated by Klaus Thymann in 2008 as a non-profit […]

Killing Rats to Save Birds as Glaciers Recede

5 December 2014, by

The biggest island-based rat-killing operation in history is under way on South Georgia, an island north of Antarctica and east of the Falklands. The island was once one of the richest seabird breeding territories in the world, but bird populations fell into severe decline after rats arrived aboard sealing and whaling ships in the 19th […]

Photo Friday: COP20 – Voices for Climate

5 December 2014, by

The Twentieth Conference of the Parties (COP 20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is happening in Lima, Peru since December 1st, 2014, which will end on December 12, 2014. It gathered about 15,000 people, who represent 195 countries and stakeholders, to negotiate and shape the contribution they will give to […]

A conference expands the debate over hydropower in Bhutan

3 December 2014, by

Hydropower is the mainstay of the Bhutanese economy, but how is the country moving ahead in its development? Is the present method of constructing hydropower projects conducive to economic development? Does it make sense for Bhutan to build 10,000 megawatts of hydropower by 2020, as some have suggested? These were some of the questions that […]