Climate Change Spurs Tourism in Nepal, But Will it Last?

13 November 2014, by

Possessing eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, Nepal has attracted mountaineers from around the globe. Currently, there are 326 peaks open to mountaineering in the country, while 112 peaks remain unclimbed. Trekking and mountaineering, the most popular tourism activities in Nepal, bring substantial profits to the country. In 2013, travel and tourism […]

Bhutan’s Fortresses Yet Another Victim of Glacial Floods

11 November 2014, by

Two decades ago, a glacier lake outburst flood (GLOF) at Lugge Tso, a lake in central Bhutan, coursed down a river valley, killing 17 people, destroying 730 hectares of fields and pastures, and washing away four bridges. Most prominently in the minds of Bhutanese, it also damaged a dzong—a set of culturally significant buildings—in the […]

Roundup: Pollutants, Columbia Glacier Retreat, Cryo Consortium

10 November 2014, by

Pollutants from Glaciers “As glaciers increasingly melt in the wake of climate change, it is not only the landscape that is affected. Thawing glaciers also release many industrial pollutants stored in the ice into the environment. Now, within the scope of a Swiss National Science Foundation project, researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Empa, […]

Bhutan’s Glaciers and Yak Herds Are Shrinking

5 November 2014, by

Of the things that my colleagues and I hoped to see on our trek in Bhutan, only one was missing: ice. Ed Cook and Paul Krusic, both tree ring scientists, found the groves of ancient trees they had planned to take sample cores from, and our trails led us to the villages where I talked […]

Roundup: Ice Clock Art, Sonic Sakteng, and Ganges Threat

3 November 2014, by

Ice Watch: The Clock Is Ticking “The Danes have artist Olafur Eliasson to thank for the strange configuration of Greenland-bred ice. It’s part of a project titled ‘Ice Watch,’ involving a dozen icy chunks arranged to resemble an ominous clock. Though the pieces look as though they’ve been surreptitiously washed ashore in the middle of a […]

Photo Friday: Around Ausangate

31 October 2014, by

About 100 kilometers southeast of Cuzco sits the majestic Ausangate mountain, which is surrounded by herds of alpaca and communities of llama herders. The mountain was considered a deity by the Incans and today backpackers enjoy the Ausengate circuit, a hike that circles the mountain in five or six days. Here is a selection of photos from […]

After 100 Years of Glacier Loss, Alberta Braces for Erratic Water Flow

29 October 2014, by

When I travelled to Banff National Park in Alberta last summer, I was impressed by the high white peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Locals joked that those who want to see the snowy, icy mountains should hurry, because such beautiful landscapes may soon cease to exist due to global warming. Sadly, what the local people […]

As Glaciers Melt, A Lake in Nepal Fills Up

22 October 2014, by

  Glaciers on Nepal’s Imja Tse (Island Peak) in the Himalayas have melted at an average rate of almost 10 meters per year over the past several decades, during which time residents of Imja Tse Valley below have literally watched the residual waters create an entirely new lake. The Imja Tsho (Imja Lake) first began […]

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City Lights Are Bright in Bhutan, but for How Long?

15 October 2014, by

My colleagues Ed Cook, Paul Krusic and I have come to Bhutan with plans to get off the grid. We are eager to set off on a trek through old-growth forests and remote villages, both for the sake of research and to disconnect. Ed and Paul plan to collect samples from ancient groves, and use tree […]

Dariali gorge may be in danger from new hydroelectric plant

2 October 2014, by

Along Georgia’s border with Russia, about two hours north of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, the Tergi River flows on an almost 400 mile journey down from the Devdorak Glacier atop Mount Kazbek to the Caspian Sea. The river has been a valued source of water for the communities along its banks for thousands of […]

Copper Versus Ice: Chilean Mine Would Excavate Five Glaciers

1 October 2014, by

The glaciers of Chile are threatened not just by global warming, but by mining operations high in the snow-peaked Andes cordillera. On July 24, Chile’s state-owned copper mining company Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the metal, proposed changes to a controversial $6.8 billion expansion of its Andina mine. Whether the new proposal gets the green light from environmental authorities could determine the fate of 26 glaciers in the central Andes.

Climate change worsens gender inequality in the Himalayas

24 September 2014, by

In the Himalayas, when a flash flood rips through a village or when a glacial lake flood outburst wipes one out entirely, surviving families relocate to new settlements, where women are often burdened with more labor and kept away from school, or sent off to an early marriage. Climate impacts have made gender and ethnic […]