CR
Cryospheric Sciences

Cryospheric Sciences

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]

Did you know…? Antarctica Day 2019 – 60 years of peace

Did you know…? Antarctica Day 2019 – 60 years of peace

December 1st 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic treaty. To celebrate the signing of the treaty, ‘Antarctica Day’ now occurs each year on December 1st. But what is the Antarctic Treaty? How do people celebrate? This week’s blog post will tell you everything you need to know, just in time for celebrations! Antarctic Treaty The Antarctic Treaty was originally signed by 12 ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – Desert Varnish, Antarctica Style

If you had to describe Antarctica with one colour, red is probably the last one you would pick. However, some parts of the so-called white continent can be surprising in their colours. Today’s Image of the Week shows us that some parts of Antarctica — Beacon Valley in this case – can be strikingly similar to landscapes in hot deserts…. … speaking of deserts, did you know that: Antarcti ...[Read More]

Cryo-Comm – Six reasons why you should communicate your science

What inspired you to get into polar or cryospheric research? Perhaps it was a passion for the outdoors, a drive to protect the environment for the people and animals that live there, or a fascination with wild places. For me, it was all three – and the more I learned about Antarctic climate science, the more I realised that the polar regions are vital to the functioning of a healthy planet, and so ...[Read More]

Did you know… about the fluctuating past of north-east Greenland?

Did you know… about the fluctuating past of north-east Greenland?

Recent geological data shows that during a very cold phase of our Earth’s climate (between 40,000 and 26,000 years ago), there was a huge expansion of polar ice sheets, yet the north-eastern part of the Greenland ice sheet was less extensive than today. How could this have occurred? In this post we shed light on the potential causes of this ice sheet behaviour. What do we know about present- ...[Read More]