Researchers at the Climate Change Institute used a new high-resolution laser technology to analyze ice from the Colle Gnifetti Glacier in the Alps. This technology allowed the team to trace the history of Saharan dust events as well as the atmospheric conditions that promote them. They predict that climate change will intensify Saharan dust storms, worsening regional air quality and speeding glacial melt.
Heidi Steltzer and Pamela McElwee recently testified in front of Congress to discuss the findings of the two recently published IPCC reports, in which glaciers and the Earth’s changing cryosphere figure prominently.
The novel coronavirus—officially known as COVID-19—is gaining altitude. The mysterious flu-like respiratory illness is creeping into the country’s mountainous western provinces high on the Tibetan Plateau. While the number of cases in these areas still remains low, there has been a slow uptick in infections in recent days.
“I like to see the fluid nature of the ice.” Glaciologist Mark Fahnestock narrates a time-lapse video by NASA, which captured decades of ice movement on Earth’s glaciers.
Last month a team of researchers discovered new viruses within ice cores extracted from the Guliya ice cap in the northwestern part of the Tibetan Plateau. As the warming climate causes glaciers to melt, the re-emergence of ancient bacteria and viruses threaten present day species lacking immunity to these pathogens.
In this week’s Video of the Week a robot oceanographer takes us 700 meters under the ice to the grounding zone of Thwaites Glacier––the slipping cork of ice keeping the West Antarctic Ice Sheet intact.
A study published in 2018 was the first to provide evidence that a positive feedback loop is currently ongoing between the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic Ice Sheet, with significant implications for ocean circulation. In just two years, this research has been cited 22 times across a variety of fields.
Roundup: Himalaya Pollutants, Patagonia Food Web Study, and Snowfall Variability Dictates Glacier Mass Balance3 February 2020, by Peter Deneen
In this week’s Roundup, read about how emissions from the activities of humankind are concentrating on Himalayan glaciers, a food web study on glacier and non-glacier fjords in Patagonia, and how Himalaya-Karakoram glacier mass depends on snowfall variability.
After 5,300 years, Ötzi the Iceman continues to divulge secrets. Scientists recently identified 75 different species of mosses and liverworts in, on and around the glacier mummy that reveal secrets about his final 48 hours.