Icelandic Zombie Glacier Survives by Shedding Dead Bits

28 October 2014, by

It’s alive! British scientists recently discovered that a glacier named Falljökull in Iceland, considered dead, is in fact partially “alive.” Using 3D imaging of the interior and surface of the glacier, they found that its long top section, which extends in a steep ice fall from the ice cap Öraefajökull to a plateau below, has at least temporarily saved itself by […]

Glaciers + Algal Blooms = Good?

23 October 2014, by

The pros and cons of algal blooms, high concentrations of phytoplankton in the oceans, are a subject of much debate. But several studies in recent months have examined links between changing polar environments, exponential growth of algal blooms, and potential for carbon reduction. One study, appearing in the journal Nature Communications in May 2014, suggests […]

As Glaciers Melt, A Lake in Nepal Fills Up

22 October 2014, by

  Glaciers on Nepal’s Imja Tse (Island Peak) in the Himalayas have melted at an average rate of almost 10 meters per year over the past several decades, during which time residents of Imja Tse Valley below have literally watched the residual waters create an entirely new lake. The Imja Tsho (Imja Lake) first began […]

Roundup: Mars Glaciers, Tourism Up and Body Found

20 October 2014, by

Second Body found on Siachen Glacier in Two Months “It has been 18 years since Gaya Prasad, a Sepoy in the Indian Army, was proclaimed dead in December 1996. His team was trapped in a minor avalanche on the Siachin Glacier and he was declared dead after prolonged searches couldn’t help in tracing him.” Read […]

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. […]