The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are limitless, reaching even the most remote corners of the Earth, including the Everest region, where the virus is inflicting cascading impacts upon mountain tourism and local well-being.
Social distancing compliance is being measured by mobile phone GPS data. We looked at ten US states and discuss the vulnerability of glacier communities and factors affecting their ability to adapt to social distancing requirements.
This week’s Video of the Week provides three snapshots of glacier community responses to the coronavirus pandemic on three different continents––an empty market in Pakistani Karakoram, a tense hospital discussion in the Ecuadorean Andes, and positive measure by a public health director in an affected Pacific Northwest glacier county.
Roundup: COVID-19 Glacier Regions Update, Some US National Parks Close, Mines in the Peruvian Andes, and 2020 Research Put On Ice23 March 2020, by Peter Deneen
In this week’s Roundup we updated coverage of glacier regions affected by COVID-19, noted the mutually opposed status of US national parks, highlighted the closure of mines in the Peruvian Andes, and reported on the impact to 2020 cryosphere field research.
Glaciers of New Zealand’s Southern Alps have been losing ice volume since 1978, with an increasing rate in the last decade, resulting in a 400% expansion in the size of the glacial lakes fed by their meltwater.
For this week’s Roundup we compiled the glacier regions affected by the novel coronavirus––including the Alps, Pyrenees, Caucasus, Karakoram, Himalaya, Greenland, and Cascades––where the dislocation of remote glacier communities cuts both ways. Expeditions to Mount Everest have been suspended.
Less than one percent of glaciers surge. In the Karakoram, however, there is an extraordinarily high concentration of glaciers that do. In this week’s Video of the Week, see how the surging Shishpar Glacier in Pakistani Karakoram threatens human settlements.
French Resort in the Pyrenees Sparks Debate on the Transportation of Snow to Ski Slopes by Helicopter10 March 2020, by Audrey Ramming
Last month Luchon-Superbagnères, a resort in the French Pyrenees, used a helicopter to transport approximately fifty tons of snow to its bare, snowless slopes so that it could remain open during the height of tourist season. The blowback has triggered debate over best practices for ski resorts in the region.
In this week’s Roundup, cryoseismologists say Thwaites Glacier’s retreat has it so close to the grounding like that it causes earthquakes when it calves, a catastrophic glacier collapse on a popular trekking route in Peru, and a study classifying Alaskan coastal streamflow patterns.
Thwaites Glacier is one of Antarctica’s largest contributors to sea level rise. Its rate of loss has doubled in the past thirty years. Now glaciologists have discovered that it’s also creating earthquakes as it breaks up.
A new animation produced by a satellite imaging glaciologist shows three Antarctic calving events. The events, which occurred between 2017 and 2020, are indicative of the rapid retreat the Pine Island Glacier has experienced in recent years.