As glaciers melt, bodies resurface

26 August 2014, by

In June 2012, an Alaska Army National Guard helicopter was flying over the Colony Glacier on a routine training flight when the crew noticed bits of wreckage scattered on the ice. The twisted metal, bits of cloth and other debris turned out to be all that was left of a C-124 Globemaster II troop transport […]

Iceland earthquakes continue, evacuations begin

20 August 2014, by

As the earthquakes continue at Bárðarbunga volcano, under Iceland’s largest glacier, local authorities and residents have become increasingly concerned about the risk of outburst floods, though the warning remains at code orange. They recognize that large quantities of water could rush down river valleys if magma should rise to the surface. As a precautionary measure, residents and […]

Far below the ice of a distant moon: Life?

20 August 2014, by

Mars rovers have been tested in Death Valley and Peru. Apollo astronauts used Meteor Crater in Arizona to simulate walking on the moon. Now glaciers have their part to play as stand-ins for outer space. The Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is the destination, Alaska’s Matanuska glacier is the training ground. Scientists think that an ocean […]

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In state of the climate report, mountain glaciers get special attention

14 August 2014, by

The year 2013 hasn’t been a good one for climate change (as you might’ve guessed) and mountain glaciers have been singled out, according to a new report released by the National Climatic Data Center. The largest climate data archive in the world sits in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains and contains 14 petabytes of information, enough […]

Glaciers are muddying rivers, with drought to blame

12 August 2014, by

Water flowing off snow-capped mountains has the image of being absolutely pure, but the rivers and streams of California’s Mount Shasta are unusually brown, and geologists are pointing at drought as the cause. News surrounding the drought in California inundates the media, but we often hear about dying crops and brown lawns. This time it’s […]

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When a glacier has hundreds of bundles of (icy) joy

7 August 2014, by

On July 20, 2010, researchers from Swansea University in Wales were setting up equipment near Helheim Glacier in Greenland when they happened to witness a 4-kilometer crack in the ice forming that extended from one side to the other. Quickly, they set up a time-lapse camera to record one of the largest glacier calving events […]

If a glacier melts on a mountain, does anyone hear it?

6 August 2014, by

In June 2014 the two of us—an anthropologist and an experimental musician, both from Peru– visited Quelccaya, a large glacier high in the Andes. We wanted to record the sounds of its ice as it melted. This trip formed part of our ongoing collaborative project. We are interested establishing new approaches to questions of climate […]

Evidence of glaciers, but no little green men, on Mars

31 July 2014, by

When astronomer Percival Lowell looked through his telescope in northern Arizona in 1895, he was convinced that Mars was covered with a network of canals. Lowell published three books on the features of the Red Planet that he believed formed an elaborate system of transporting water from the polar ice caps. The canals, he theorized, […]

Scientists find yet another negative impact of glacial melt: ocean acidification

28 July 2014, by

Researchers have recently uncovered previously unknown negative environmental impact of accelerated glacial melt. If reductions in freshwater availability, landslides, outburst floods and sea level rise were not bad enough, ocean acidification can be added to the list. Ocean acidification is a well-known process, though it has not previously been linked to glaciers. Scientists have recognixed […]

High schoolers get “hands on” with Alaska glacier

21 July 2014, by

  In an age when satellite images are often the only source of data you could need about a glacier, few people will still strap on ice cleats and lug a theodolite up to a calving ice front. What’s even more unusual is finding a group of 16 and 17 year olds who do just […]

Researchers turn to geoengineering to save Chile’s glaciers

2 July 2014, by

When you think of geoengineering, you may be imagining huge mirrors in space, or iron filings being dumped into the ocean. Geoengineering, though, can occur on a smaller scale. Some researchers are proposing small-scale fixes as in an effort to save some of Chile’s 3,100 glaciers. Cedomir Marangunic, a glaciologist in Chile, saw the retreat […]

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What a 2,600-year-old pine needle can tell us about the melting Alps

3 April 2014, by

The glaciers of the Alps are melting – and at twice the rate of other glaciers around the world. But what did those glaciers look like in the past? The retreat of glaciers can reveal important data about our climate’s past. High up in the eastern Alps, near the Swiss-Italian border, glaciologists are drilling into […]