Hundreds of Millions of South Asians At Risk from Glacier Melt

16 October 2014, by

Few regions on Earth depend as heavily on glaciers for food, energy and water as South Asia’s Hindu Kush Himalayan ecosystem. A new research paper in the journal Environmental Science and Policy highlights some of the challenges downstream communities face when glacier water from upstream communities becomes scarce. The greater South Asian region accounts for […]

Roundup: Glacier Names, Pakistani Disasters and More

13 October 2014, by

Iceland names 130 new glaciers “The new names mainly refer to places in the vicinity. For example, Kerlingarbaksjökull lies to the west of the mountain Kerling in Eyjafjörður, Sýlingarjökull in Svarfaðardalur is named after the mountain Auðnasýling and Dyrajökull lies in the Dyrfjöll mountains in Borgarfjörður eystri, as stated on ruv.is. Oddur is working with local […]

Glaciers Recede in East Africa’s “Mountains of the Moon”

9 October 2014, by

The Rwenzori Mountains of equatorial East Africa are widely known to be the legendary “Mountains of the Moon” described by Ptolemy in 150 A.D. as ‘the Mountains of Moon whose snows feed the lakes, sources of the Nile’. Indeed, snow and ice on these glaciated mountains that straddle the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo […]

Satellite Images Offer Clues to Causes of Glacial Lake Flooding

7 October 2014, by

Satellites are now allowing us to track the behavior of icy glacial lakes on the Himalayan Mountains–in particular the conditions that lead to glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), which have become increasingly frequent in the region over the past 20 years. Researchers from the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment and the State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere […]

Glacier stories you may have missed this week – 10/6

6 October 2014, by

California droughts and glacier melts lead to massive Mt. Shasta mudslide “Experts believe glacial melting, accelerated by the drought, may have released “pockets of water” that destabilized massive ice blocks and causing the debris flow Saturday afternoon in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, officials said.” Read more about Mt. Shasta mudslide in the Los Angles Times.   […]

Copper Versus Ice: Chilean Mine Would Excavate Five Glaciers

1 October 2014, by

The glaciers of Chile are threatened not just by global warming, but by mining operations high in the snow-peaked Andes cordillera. On July 24, Chile’s state-owned copper mining company Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the metal, proposed changes to a controversial $6.8 billion expansion of its Andina mine. Whether the new proposal gets the green light from environmental authorities could determine the fate of 26 glaciers in the central Andes.

Is a new Fern Gully in the making on a sub-Antarctic island?

18 September 2014, by

An unusual form of life was recently discovered on a glacier located on a remote island in the Southern Ocean. Signy Island is part of the sub-Antarctic South Orkney Islands, about 600 kilometers northeast of  the Antarctic Peninsula and 900 km southeast of Tierra del Fuego. The site of a former whaling station and the […]

Glacier scientists play the game of drones

2 September 2014, by

For many years, the word “drone” was used only infrequently by bee enthusiasts, bagpipe players, and people subjected to monotonous music. However, in recent years it has taken on a new and controversial meanings associated with pilotless aircraft. For many, the word is steeped in controversies that stem from its military uses in conflict zones. […]

Humans (surprise!) biggest cause of glacier loss

28 August 2014, by

It’s not quite a “Planet of the Apes” moment, where humans suddenly realize (like Charlton Heston realizing he was on Earth all along) that they themselves were the cause of climate change. A new report in the recent edition of the journal Science is as sobering as it is simple: Humans didn’t used to be […]

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 […]