Glacier Counties in Washington Give Strong Support to Sanders

31 March 2016, by

You’ve heard of red states and blue states–but what about glacier states and non-glacier states? Most political analysis focuses on voters’ age, gender, race, or other demographic characteristics. But looking at voter proximity to glaciers is also a fascinating metric. In fact, last weekend’s caucuses in Washington state point towards an association between glaciers and support […]

At Family Game Night, Glacier Retreat is in the Cards

24 March 2016, by

A game that focuses on glacier retreat drew a number of players at a community outreach event held earlier this month in Fairbanks, Alaska, as part of a major international conference, the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW). The game, called Glaciers Then and Now, is played with a deck of 16 cards, each of which […]

Why Is a Region in China Banning Glacier Tourism?

10 March 2016, by

In order to protect the glaciers, tourists in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will only be allowed to enjoy the sight of them from a distance, instead of walking on them, according to a proposed new regulation in China’s latest Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). Glaciers are “solid reservoirs” in dry regions such as Xinjiang, and thus […]

Western Balkans Outlook

UNEP Prepares Mountain Communities for Climate Change

2 March 2016, by

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) released the first two reports of a new series on regional mountain-based adaptation in order to encourage urgent action to protect mountain ecosystems from the impacts of climate change. On December 11, 2015— International Mountain Day— the UNEP launched reports for the Western Balkans and the Southern Caucasus regions, as part […]

Central Chile’s Valleys Irrigated by Glacial Waters

4 February 2016, by

Glaciers are an important factor for the success of agriculture in valleys in Chile. According to a recent study in the International Journal of Water Resources Management, the presence of glaciers at high elevation is one of the distinguishing factors that led to different degrees of agricultural development through irrigation among four valleys in Chile. […]

Climate Refugees from the Peruvian Andes

28 January 2016, by

Two recent studies offer complementary accounts of the ways that glacier retreat and other impacts of climate change have displaced indigenous people from their communities in the Peruvian Andes. One describes the people who have left as refugees, the other as migrants. Both emphasize the seriousness and apparent irreversibility of this large population movement Teófilo […]

Reinforsen power plant, norway

The Challenge of Sediment Management

20 January 2016, by

A new research study entitled “Ecosystem impacts of Alpine water intakes for hydropower: the challenge of sediment management” explores the effects of different hydropower capture techniques on human and ecosystem water needs. Rivers fed by glacial melt and snowmelt in Alpine regions serve as a critical resource for hydroelectric power production. However, the management systems […]

In an Empty Building’s Place: Wilderness and Community

14 January 2016, by

A Swiss NGO, Mountain Wilderness, has developed a solution to a problem found in many alpine regions: the abandoned buildings which result from outmigration of rural families. They designed sustainable, participatory techniques for removing the building materials and applied them to an empty farmhouse in a remote glacier valley as a demonstration project. And once […]

Controversy Over Resort in Jumbo Valley

13 January 2016, by

After two decades, a proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort in the East Kootenays of British Columbia continues to be controversial among local communities. Now, a documentary about the campaign against the resort highlights the problems the resort could pose to the mountainous landscape. When the Jumbo Glacier Resort was originally proposed in the 1990s, it was approved under the […]

Norway’s Gift to Finland: A Mountain and a Snowfield

24 December 2015, by

Norway may present its neighbor Finland with an unusual gift: a mountain 1331 meters in elevation, with a permanent snowfield at its top. This peak, Halti, lies a few hundred meters on the Norwegian side of the boundary between the countries.  Though it is small by Norwegian standards—it does not appear on the ranking of […]

Peru Faces Tensions Over Water

23 December 2015, by

Peru will face a “new normal” as greater agricultural and energy demands, population growth and climate change chip away at what is left of its glaciers, according to a recent article in the Yale Journal of International Affairs. Glacial retreat could ultimately lead to conflict in the country, the author found. “Peru offers an early […]

Do Village Traditions Trump Adaptation?

22 December 2015, by

The village of Manang, high in the Himalayas in Nepal, is using economic diversification to stave off the effects of climate change, but will soon reach a point where more adaptation is needed, Katie Konchar and her coauthors warned in a new study in the Journal of Ethnobiology. The team used semi-structured interviews and innovative photography […]