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 […]

A trip down Canada’s “Iceberg Alley”

19 August 2014, by

I write this from Fogo Island, where the terrain and sea are sub-arctic, brushed and at times tormented by the strong and cold Labrador Current, which wards off the warmer waters of the Gulf stream. The Labrador Current is part of the counter-clockwise vortex of the western waters of the North Atlantic ocean that picks […]

Driving the world’s “highest road” as the glaciers vanish

13 August 2014, by

When Showkat Ali began driving buses in the 1980s on the Northern India’s Khardung-la, the world’s reputed highest motorable road, the Khardung glacier was immense and represented a daunting obstacle for vehicle transport. One day, he saw the vehicles in front and behind him vanish in a sudden tide of snow while his bus was […]

Walking to a place where “the mountains are weeping”

4 August 2014, by

Having rested during the night we embark on a walk to Drangajökull. Unlike other Icelandic glaciers, it does not reach up to the high mountainous interior of the island. It is, nevertheless, impressive and has a history of its own. Centuries ago, local peasants and fishers would travel across it along specific routes, transporting driftwood […]

Privatizing the world’s tallest peaks

9 July 2014, by

While the rise in commercial mountaineering has been generating valuable income for Nepal, it has also resulted in pollution and local disturbance. Now the Nepalese tourism ministry is planning to lease exclusive access to many of its highest mountains to private tourism companies. The government claims that the privatization of the mountains is necessary so […]

If you build (an artificial glacier), they will come

25 June 2014, by

The concept of geoengineering artificial glaciers is starting to gain traction among glacier communities around the world. Advocates recently hosted a presentation on “Artificial Glaciers in the Northwest” The presentation, delivered in April 2014 in Hood River, Oregon by Emily Smith and Tom Bennett of Portland State University, discussed the possibility of importing those techniques […]

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Afghanistan’s newest national park is bigger than Yellowstone

25 June 2014, by

Amid war-torn Afghanistan, the glaciers that isolated the locals for centuries are now attracting tourists. Earlier this year, officials designated the Wakhan District in the Pamir Mountains as the country’s second national park, bringing more outsiders to the remote region. National parks were first proposed in Afghanistan in the 1960s. However, due to decades of […]

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See it while you can: A Peruvian national park capitalizes on glacier melt

25 June 2014, by

Ecotourists want to experience the power, beauty, and wonder of nature. But do they also want to be exposed to its fragility? Not long ago Peru’s Pastoruri glacier attracted around 100,000 visitors per year, but the number of tourists has dwindled as the glacier has shrunk. As it shrank, it divided into two smaller glaciers […]