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This guest post was contributed by a scientist, student or a professional in the Earth, planetary or space sciences. The EGU blogs welcome guest contributions, so if you've got a great idea for a post or fancy trying your hand at science communication, please contact the blog editor or the EGU Communications Officer to pitch your idea.

Life of a scientist: When fieldwork doesn’t go to plan…

Climate research questions tend to focus on the future. What will global temperature be in 2100? Will extreme weather events become more frequent? When will sea level rise render coastal homes uninhabitable? But our understanding of climate processes first comes from observing the past: palaeoclimatology. To get these records, scientists often go on fieldwork to collect samples. But what happens w ...[Read More]

Radiocarbon rocks! – How rocks can tell us about the history of an ice sheet…

Radiocarbon rocks! – How rocks can tell us about the history of an ice sheet…

When most people hear the phrase “radiocarbon dating”, they think of measuring carbon to date organic material. But did you know that carbon is also produced within rocks, and that we can use it to learn about the past behaviour of a glacier? About 20,000 years ago it was colder and large parts of the continents were covered by ice. But what did Antarctica – the largest ice mass ...[Read More]

What’s up on Thwaites Glacier?

What’s up on Thwaites Glacier?

With the West Antarctic Ice Sheet currently losing ice at a fast pace, leading to sea-level rise, it is very important to better understand the processes by which this ice melting occurs. In this context, Thwaites Glacier is a very good case study of an accelerating glacier, which contributes substantially to sea-level rise, and for which a huge scientific collaboration effort has recently been se ...[Read More]

Trapped in the sea ice – Educating the future generations of polar scientists

In October 2019, the research icebreaker ‘Polarstern’ was moored to an ice floe for its year-long journey through the Arctic Ocean. Come with us on a slightly shorter journey and learn how MOSAiC participants from the supporting cruise educate the future generation of polar scientists! What is the MOSAiC expedition? The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate ...[Read More]

Boom and bust beneath the ice

Boom and bust beneath the ice

Beneath the frozen surface of the Southern Ocean, live some of the most spectacular creatures on earth. These creatures are spectacular not only in appearance, but also in their ability to survive in such an extreme environment as Antarctica. Here, temperatures deviate only slightly from 0°C, and food is scarce during the winter months. How do these diverse creatures live in these conditions and w ...[Read More]

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]