New Findings Suggest Cryovolcanoes on Pluto

24 November 2015, by

On November 9th, New Horizons mission geologists presented evidence that Pluto’s largest and most distinctive mountains might indeed be cryovolcanoes, or ice volcanoes, that are likely to have been active in Pluto’s recent geological past. The findings are just one of over fifty new reports of exciting discoveries about Pluto, revealed just four months after […]

Roundup: Droughts and Floods in the Future

23 November 2015, by

15% Shrinkage for Tibet Glaciers “Glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau – the source of rivers such as the Brahmaputra – have shrunk by as much as 15 per cent, retreating by 8,000 square kilometres since 1980, according to a new Chinese government-backed study. The decades-long study conducted by the official Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) […]

A Visit to a Glacier Goddess

20 November 2015, by

During my recent visit to Bhutan, a shopkeeper in a mountain village mentioned to me that there was a temple located high up in a valley on Mount Jomolhari.  It contained an image of the local deity, he added, the goddess of the mountain.  These facts, mentioned quite casually, stirred my curiosity and made me […]

Photo Friday: Kazakhs of the Altai Mountains

20 November 2015, by

The Altai Mountains in Central Asia, located where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan meet, is home to a diverse and intriguing population. Altai is Turkic-Mongolian for golden and this land of vast beauty has several glaciers, including Tsambagarav Glacier pictured below. One particularly interesting population in this region is the Mongolian Kazakh, who tame golden eagles to hunt from the heights of these formidable mountains. Enjoy these photos of […]

Threat from Himalayan Glaciers Larger Than Expected

18 November 2015, by

By Jingchao Wang and Xuefei Miao Impacts of climate change in river systems are likely to have considerable social, economic, ecological and political implications, according to a new study published in the journal of Regional Environmental Change. In order to understand governance mechanisms for climate adaptation in the region, a systematic review methodology was applied […]

Peak Water Looms in Central Asia

17 November 2015, by

Glacier mass loss is threatening community livelihoods in Chon Kemin valley, in Central Asia. People in the region “strongly [depend] on glacial melt water for fresh water supply, irrigation and hydropower production…” say Annina Sorg and her coauthors of a paper studying the increased glacial melt in this area and its effect on peak water levels. The study […]

Roundup: An Avalanche, A Landslide and a New Plant

16 November 2015, by

Army Captain dies after avalanche hits patrol party in Siachen glacier An army Captain was killed and 15 soldiers were rescued after an avalanche struck a patrol party in Siachen Glacier in Ladakh sector of Jammu and Kashmir of India on Friday, November 13. Regimental Medical Officer Captain Ashwini Kumar died after the avalanche hit […]

An Abundance of Yaks

12 November 2015, by

A trip with two colleagues to the Jomolhari area of northwestern Bhutan in October gave me hope that yak-herding remains an active part of the regional economy. We hiked for two weeks through villages and high pastures and up near the mountain’s glaciers, both along major trails and in less-traveled sections. I met some herders […]

Photo Friday: Ice Watch Last Year and This Year

12 November 2015, by

The Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, is preparing an “Ice Watch”–a melting ice sculpture–for installation in Paris, to be timed with COP21. We offer you here images of a similar sculpture which he and a geologist Minik Rosing installed in Copenhagen’s town hall square last year, also timed with a major climate event–a  meeting in Copenhagen […]

Glacier Showdown at the Mall

11 November 2015, by

Replacing Christmas Trees with Christmas Glaciers in Santa mall displays angers public.

Climate Awareness Impedes Adaptation

10 November 2015, by

A lack of awareness about the threats posed by climate change in mountain communities in Tajikistan, Central Asia may endanger traditional modes of life and local economies, according to a study published recently in Climatic Change. If these communities do not begin adapting to climate change before temperatures pass the threshold, it will be too late to […]

Roundup:The Melting World, Frozen Stories and Ice Artifacts

9 November 2015, by

Alpine glaciers have already begun to disappear worldwide “As world temperatures soar, public outcry has focused on the threat to polar ice sheets and sea ice. Yet there is another impact of global warming—one much closer to home—that spells trouble for Americans: the extinction of alpine glaciers in the Rocky Mountains. The epicenter of the […]