Roundup: CLIMATE CONFESSION, Turkey Avalanches, and Announcing The Earthshot Prize

A Planetary Scientist Admits He Was Wrong

Planetary scientist and glaciologist Jeff Kargel was thinking about climate change on Earth without enough consideration for irreversible changes––he wants you to know what he now understands. “My confession is that the signs and the models were in place by 2005, but I was still thinking in gradualistic terms. I was not thinking about abruptly changing behaviors of the gigantic currents of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. In 2005, I thought that climate change was gradual and readily manageable. I was wrong. I didn’t consider nonlinear effects— the tipping points— that climate change would have on individual components of the Earth system.”

Read the full admission by Jeff Kargel on GlacierHub here.

Imja Lake, Nepal, and its natural end moraine dam (Source: Jeff Kargel).

Province in Turkey Hit by Multiple Avalanches

Turkey’s Van Province suffered a series of devastating natural disasters the first week of February, with two avalanches occurring within 24 hours of each other. The avalanches were triggered in the same area near a highway outside of the town of Bahcesaray. The first avalanche struck on February 4 and the second followed on February 5. The Turkish Natural Disaster and Crisis Directorate announced the following day that the death toll had climbed to 41 with nearly 100 others injured.

Read the story by Zoë Klobus on GlacierHub here.

‘The Most Prestigious’ Environment Prize In History

In October 2019, GlacierHub reported on Prince William and Duchess Catherine’s visit to a remote Pakistani village, Bumburet, in the Hindu Kush to view the Chiatibo Glacier––the first time the couple had seen a melting glacier. Less than three months later, on the eve of the New Year 2020, the couple announced The Earthshot Prize, which is being called “the most prestigious environment prize in history.”

Read the story by Ecowatch here and see the short clip, narrated by David Attenborough, below.

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Roundup: British Royals in Pakistan, Trump’s Logging Plan, and Cracks in Pine Island Glacier

British royals visit Pakistani glacier

From the Telegraph:

“The Duke of Cambridge has warned that the world risks losing ‘many of the precious things we care about’ if it fails to take action on climate change, as he visits a melting glacier in Pakistan.

The Duke, who travelled to the north of Pakistan on the third day of their tour, said the couple hoped to ‘use our voice and lend our position’ to talk about the environment and climate change.

[…]

The Duke and Duchess have spent the day in a remote location in the Hindu Kush mountain range in northern Pakistan, beginning at the Chiatibo Glacier in Broghil National Park.

They were shown how the ice has retreated rapidly in recent years due to global warming in their first opportunity to see a melting glacier in real life.”

Read the article here.

Trump administration proposes logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

From the Washington Post:

“The Trump administration Tuesday proposed allowing logging on more than half of Alaska’s 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in North America.

President Trump instructed federal officials to reverse long-standing limits on tree cutting at the request of Alaska’s top elected officials, on the grounds that it will boost the local economy. But critics say that protections under the “roadless rule,” finalized just before President Bill Clinton left office in 2001, are critical to protecting the region’s lucrative salmon fishery and tourism operations.

The U.S. Forest Service said it would publish a draft environmental impact statement this week (Oct. 15) that, if enacted, would exempt the Tongass from the 2001 roadless rule.”

The Mendenhall Glacier, among many others, is located within Tongass National Forest.

Read the article here.

Mendenhall Glacier (Source: Wikimedia Commons/
Jay Galvin)

New cracks observed in Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier

From the European Space Agency:

“The Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites have revealed new cracks, or rifts, in the Pine Island Glacier—one of the primary ice arteries in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The two large rifts were first spotted in early 2019 and have each rapidly grown to approximately 20 km in length.

Mark Drinkwater, Head of the Earth and Mission Sciences Division at ESA, says, ‘These new rifts appeared very soon after last year’s major calving of iceberg B46. Sentinel-1 winter monitoring of their progressive extension signals that a new iceberg of similar proportions will soon be calved.'”

Read more here.

Read more on GlacierHub:

Photo Friday: Turkey’s Glaciers

New Satellite Imagery Shows Rapid Pace of Andean Glacier Melt

Video of the Week: Glacier Atop Mont Blanc on Precipice of Collapse