CR
Cryospheric Sciences

Cryospheric Sciences

The foot of a glaciated mammoth? No… A glacier!

The foot of a glaciated mammoth? No… A glacier!

Ice is a viscous fluid: it flows but slowly, reaching up to 100 m/yr for the fastest flowing ice. That’s 0.00001 km/hr, so you’d never see it with the naked eye. But what influences the morphology of the glaciers is the shape of the topography that lies underneath them. Elephant Foot Glacier, shown above, aptly named for its shape, is a textbook-example of a piedmont glacier. These types of glacie ...[Read More]

An interview with Jean Holloway on the importance of mental health in graduate school

Recent studies have shown that mental health conditions are far more common in graduate students than in the general public (e.g. Bolotnyy et al., 2020). Despite the prevalence, these issues are not something that are often openly discussed, and graduate students often don’t seek treatment. This week, we are interviewing Jean Holloway who aims to shed some light on her personal experience with som ...[Read More]

Climate Change & Cryosphere – The tropical fingerprint in Arctic climate

Climate Change & Cryosphere – The tropical fingerprint in Arctic climate

We know that climate change is being felt worldwide, but it is especially prominent in the Arctic, where temperatures are warming twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. This especially sensitive environment, whose icy, snow-covered land and sea is so important in the global climate system, is really starting to feel the heat. But where is this heat coming from? In this blog post, we will ex ...[Read More]

Water plumes are tickling the Greenland Ice Sheet

Water plumes are tickling the Greenland Ice Sheet

7 meters of sea-level rise – what you would get if the whole Greenland Ice Sheet melted. But the tricky question is: how much of this ice will be melted in the next decades, and how fast will it occur? This piece of information is critical in order to plan for present and future populations living in coastline areas, all around the world. How much and how fast can the Greenland Ice Sheet melt ? In ...[Read More]

Climate Change & Cryosphere – The fate of Georgian Glaciers

Last week, we learned about the dramatic fate of the Hochjochferner, which has strongly retreated in the past years due to climate change. It represented just one example amongst many alpine glaciers, which are following a similar path. But the Alps are not the only mountain range in which glaciers are retreating. Another example closeby is the Caucasus region. Its glaciers are also shrinking at a ...[Read More]

Education in glaciology: Witnessing the death of a glacier

Education in glaciology: Witnessing the death of a glacier

The Karthaus summer school on Glaciers and Ice Sheets in the Climate System has a long history of training many generations of PhD students, thus forming professional networks that have lasted throughout their careers. The Karthaus summer school has been described in detail in a previous Cryoblog post. Here we want to focus on the story of a glacier… Hochjochferner, a retreating glacier One ...[Read More]

Did you know? – Ocean bathymetry can control Antarctic mass loss!

Ice shelves (the floating parts of the Antarctic ice sheet) play a fundamental role in the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet (see this post) and, therefore, its contribution to global sea-level rise. They lose mass primarily through melting at their bases, which are in contact with the ocean. This thins them and makes them more vulnerable, reducing their stabilising potential and causing more i ...[Read More]

Did you know about… nature’s street lights for Santa Claus?

Only a couple of days left until Santa Claus’ big night! Once again the beardy guy in the red and white suit will fly around the world with his sledge pulled by his strong reindeers to make young and old children happy! But how does he navigate in the dark? Luckily, nature provides some solutions, for example light pillars… Light pillars form when ice particles are suspended in the air. These part ...[Read More]

Cryo History – How airborne glaciologists measured the movement of glaciers before the satellite era

Recent work published in my department at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) focused on solid ice discharge into the ocean from the Greenland Ice Sheet from 1986 to 2017 (Mankoff et al. 2019). Solid ice discharge is the ice that is lost from a glacier as it flows towards the coast and eventually breaks off as icebergs into the ocean (i.e. calving). Solid ice discharge is an impo ...[Read More]

Cryo Adventures – What’s currently going on in Antarctic science?

Cryo Adventures – What’s currently going on in Antarctic science?

As Christmas gets closer, days are getting shorter in the northern hemisphere. A good excuse to get cosy inside on the sofa, drinking tea and eating Christmas biscuits. Meanwhile, a few thousand of scientists are heading “South”, to Antarctica, where the lengthening days provide the perfect conditions to conduct a whole variety of scientific field expeditions… Science in Antarctica Just last ...[Read More]