Roundup: AGU 100, The Third Pole, and Why Lake Superior is Rising

Latest Cryosphere Research Presented at AGU Centennial

GlacierHub’s senior editor attended the American Geophysical Union’s 100th meeting––combing the centennial gathering for groundbreaking cryosphere research. AGU 100 hosted more than 27,000 attendees––with an equal number of submitted abstracts. More than 1,000 oral sessions and 8,200 presentations were featured as well as more than 16,000 posters. Nearly two dozen scientific workshops were hosted, 101 town halls, ten tutorials, and five keynotes speeches. The Mountain Research Initiative hosted a synthesis workshop on future mountain climate change from elevation-dependent warming to elevation-dependent climate change, led by Nick Pepin from the University of Portsmouth, with experts from around the world. `

Notable glacier presentations over the course of the week included the possibility of a long subglacial river under the north Greenland ice sheet, a subglacial groundwater table beneath Greenland’s Hiawatha crater, measurements of tidewater glacier melt rates with underwater noise, the deglaciation of the Andes in central Chile, the role of ocean warming in the widespread retreat of Greenland’s marine-terminating glaciers, the geologic signatures of catastrophic glacier detachments, and significant surface melt detected across the Himalayas in synthetic aperture radar times series, among others. In case you missed it, AGU Cryosphere live-tweeted the research on display.

The 100th meeting of the American Geophysical Union was hosted in San Francisco, California December 9-13 (Source: Peter Deneen)

Is There Anything Natural About The Polar?

Is there a basis for calling the Himalayas––or all glaciers––a third pole? This article is one of the very few that explores both the social and scientific basis for answering this question positively. From the abstract: “Are similarities of temperature, snow and ice cover, and (certain) marine mammals sufficient to warrant both polar regions being considered a single object of study or governance? We argue that their treatment as a unit is an invitation to examine the motivations behind the choice to be polar rather than Arctic or Antarctic.”

Read the article here.

The Tibetan Plateau, often called the Third Pole (Source: NASA/WikiCommons).

Why Lake Superior Is Rising and What That Means for the City of Duluth

As a climate threat, sea level rise has been well-documented. However, it’s rising lake levels, linked to the warming climate, that may be threatening the shores of Duluth, Minnesota, a city recognized for its climate-safe attributes and that is being advertised as a safe haven for climate refugees.

Read the story by Audrey Ramming on GlacierHub here.

Time series plot of Lake Superior water levels: When working for NOAA, Gronewold helped develop the Great Lakes Water Level Dashboard as a tool to look at long term water level data in the Great Lakes. Notice the recent rising trend. The red line represents the average water level for the period of record while the blue dots represent the average water level in a given month. (Source: Andrew Gronewold/NOAA)

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