Different Views of a World Heritage Site in China

26 July 2017, by

On July 12, 2017, after careful consideration of China’s nomination, UNESCO declared the Qinghai Hoh Xil region in Western China a World Heritage Site. The IUCN, a major international conservation body, recognized the strengths of this nomination but raised two concerns— first, threats from development, and second, failure to engage with local communities and cultural […]

The Water Management Crisis of the Teesta River

5 July 2017, by

A reduction in the Teesta River’s water flow during the non-monsoon months has impacted water levels available for irrigation, leading to ongoing disputes between Bangladesh and India. The tension between Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Chief Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, has led to an impasse in a […]

Water Stress in the Naryn River Basin

22 June 2017, by

Around the world, meltwater from snow and glaciers has provided surrounding communities with water for irrigation and hydropower, but climate change is altering the timing and volume of the annual water flow cycle. This issue is pressing in eastern Kyrgyzstan, where the glaciers and snowpack of the Tien Shan Mountains form the headwaters of the Naryn River, which flows […]

Glacier Countries Condemn Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement

19 June 2017, by

Countries around the world were quick to condemn Donald Trump when he announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Unsurprisingly, small countries with glaciers, with their direct experience of climate change, have joined this round of condemnation. However, the details varied from country to country. And relatively few voices in these […]

Cruise Ships Cause Murrelets to Demur: Management and Tourism in Glacier Bay

8 June 2017, by

When the U.S. National Park Service was established by the Organic Act of 1916, just over 100 years ago, it was given two mandates: to protect the natural resources in its parks, while also allowing for enjoyment of those resources. Sometimes, these mandates conflict. In a May 2017 paper in PLOS One, Timothy Marcella and […]

Palcacocha Icefalls Demonstrate Hazard Vulnerabilities in Peru

6 June 2017, by

Recent Calving Events at Lake Palcacocha In the last week, calving events at Lake Palcacocha in the Peruvian Andes released masses of ice from a glacier on Mount Pucaranra. The ice fell into the lake, sending waves across the lake that destroyed infrastructure designed to prevent dangerous outburst floods. Fortunately, the waves were not high […]

Learning from a Flood-Alarm System’s Fate

31 May 2017, by

A longer version of this post appeared in the April 2017 issue of EcoAmericas. When a flood from a mountain lake threatened to swamp the town of Carhuaz in the Peruvian Andes early one morning in April 2010, Víctor Rodríguez was the only person who knew. From his hut on a plain below the mountain, […]

Two Glaciers in India Granted Personhood Status, Court Rules

27 April 2017, by

The Gangtori and Yamunotri glaciers in India were recently granted “living beings” status or personhood by the Uttarakhand state court in order to protect them, particularly from pollution and climate change. Located in the Himalayas, both glaciers are considered sacred by Hindus, the dominant religion in India, and are important pilgrimage sites. The glaciers also […]

Putin Visits Arctic Glaciers

18 April 2017, by

President Vladimir Putin recently visited Russia’s Franz Josef Land archipelago in March, where he was briefed about scientific research taking place at the glaciers. He even grabbed an ice pick and carved out a sample from one of the glaciers. The main purpose of the trip was to inspect the progress of a project to […]

Local Communities Support Mountain Sustainability

12 April 2017, by

International capacity-building collaborations have been initiated to observe glaciers and develop action plans in the tropical Andes and Central Asia. A recent study titled “Glacier Monitoring and Capacity Building,” by Nussbaumer et al., highlights the importance of glaciers in the Andes and Central Asia for water management, hydropower planning and natural hazards.  The Andes and Central […]

Enduring Benefits of Endurance Races

4 April 2017, by

Sporting events, both major and minor, can have significant impacts on host communities. A recent study published by Stefano Duglio and Riccardo Beltramo in the journal Sustainability examines the social and economic impacts of CollonTrek, a mountain endurance race in the Italian and Swiss Alps. The results reveal that this minor event generates significant economic […]

Glacier Researchers to Join Worldwide March for Science

22 March 2017, by

Large groups plan to assemble on April 22 in Washington, D.C. and cities across the world as part of the March for Science to demonstrate their support of science and the role of scientific evidence in guiding policy. Glacier researchers and other cryosphere specialists are preparing to join their colleagues from other disciplines in this […]