Glacier Meeting in Kathmandu

24 March 2015, by

Kathmandu, a Nepalese valley with a rich cultural and religious history, was the venue for the International Symposium on Glaciology in High-Mountain Asia early this month. From March 1 to 6, 240 scientists from 26 countries gathered there to further interdisciplinary understanding of the science of glaciers, snowpack, and permafrost in the high-mountain Asia region—the Himalayan, […]

Will Chile Get Its Five-Star Glacier Law?

12 March 2015, by

Chilean authorities and legislators agreed last week to a new framework for a law to protect thousands of melting glaciers in the towering Andes. The new proposal would safeguard glaciers inside of Chile’s national parks, but it’s not clear what protections would be offered to those glaciers that lie near some of the country’s major […]

Roundup: Nepal Symposium, Microrefugia, Climate Change

2 March 2015, by

Symposium on Glaciology in High-Mountain Asia (1 – 6 March, 2015) “The high mountains of Asia are estimated to contain one of the greatest concentrations of glacier ice outside the polar regions, and are the headwaters of rivers which support agriculture and livelihoods of over one billion people. Changes in snow, ice, and permafrost due […]

Mining a Norwegian Glacier for Luxury Ice Cubes

26 February 2015, by

The World’s Most Wanted Ice Cube: that’s the tagline a Norwegian company is using to market ice cubes carved out of a melting ten-thousand-year-old Norwegian glacier. It plans to sell them to owners of upscale bars in Dubai, London and New York. After all, if you are sipping a $50 7-star cocktail served in a glass […]

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 […]

Dam Spill Threats at a Gold Mine in Kyrgyzstan  

17 February 2015, by

In light of the Mount Polley tailings dam spill in British Columbia, Canada, environmental activists in Kyrgyzstan are ringing alarm bells over a possible scenario of a similar outburst at Petrov Lake near the Kumtor gold mine project. At Mount Polley, the tailings dam at a copper and gold mine burst in August last year, spilling 25 […]

Earthquakes Rattling Glaciers, Boosting Sea Level Rise

30 January 2015, by

Talk of earthquakes likely calls to mind giant fissures opening up along the earth’s crust, the trembling of rock, buildings crumbling to their knees and, depending on your age and cast of mind, the love of Superman for Lois Lane. But it does not likely conjure up images of giant tongues of sliding ice or […]

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 […]

John Muir: America’s Ice-Chief

13 January 2015, by

A rhapsodic wanderer trained in geology and botany, John Muir had a big hand in launching the American environmental movement and is considered by many to be the godfather of America’s national parks. The Scottish-born naturalist wrote numerous screeds in defense of wild places for national magazines around the turn of the 20th century that […]

India is Training Students to Be Glaciologists

30 December 2014, by

India’s rivers are fed by meltwater from mountain glaciers in the Himalayas. Data on these Himalayan glaciers, many of which are melting due to climate change, is incomplete, however. “Only about a dozen of the nearly 9,700 glaciers in the Indian Himalayas are being monitored,” wrote Adi Narayan, an Indian journalist, in a recent article […]

Will An Icelandic Volcano Erupt Under A Glacier In 2015?

24 December 2014, by

A group of well-placed observers have warned the world about the possibility of a major volcanic eruption in Iceland in 2015. Steen Jakobsen, the chief economist of the Danish trading and investment firm Saxo Bank, and the bank’s strategy team have issued their “Outrageous Predictions” for the coming year. They state that these predictions are […]

Kumtor Gold Mine Threatens Central Asian Glaciers and Water

23 December 2014, by

Central Asia’s Tien Shan mountain range, Chinese for “celestial mountain,” is the site of a heated battle over gold, water and ice. Stretching 1,500 miles along the borders between China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and reaching up to 7,000 meters above the sea, the mountain’s steep peaks host some of Central Asia’s most important glaciers, which […]