CR
Cryospheric Sciences

Climate Change & Cryosphere

Hidden beneath the surface – what can we learn from an ice sheet’s internal stratigraphy?

Hidden beneath the surface – what can we learn from an ice sheet’s internal stratigraphy?

Hidden beneath the surface of ice sheets lies an intricate structure carrying a unique fingerprint of past ice flow and climate conditions. Disentangling the drivers of an ice sheet’s enigmatic stratigraphy could theoretically unravel the ice sheet’s past evolution and provide a much clearer picture of things to come in the future. One way to detect this mysterious stratigraphy is to use ice-penet ...[Read More]

The Global Arctic, a personal perspective on interdisciplinary research

The Global Arctic, a personal perspective on interdisciplinary research

Around the summer solstice of 2022, a small group of twenty young researchers met in Svalbard, a small island lost between Norway and the North Pole. The Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research wanted to bring us together around the theme of “The Global Arctic“. The scope of this summer school was to “produce a better understanding of the significance of the concept of Gl ...[Read More]

Winds and Antarctic sea-ice cover: what is the role of human activities?

Winds and Antarctic sea-ice cover: what is the role of human activities?

We may not often think about it, but climate in Antarctica can be very different depending on where we are exactly (do not expect palm trees though!). Winds play a big role in shaping these differences, which are reflected – among other things! – on sea ice. But how are these winds related to the large-scale atmospheric circulation, and are we having an impact on them? Dear readers, pl ...[Read More]

Why the 2022 Italian snow drought matters to you

Why the 2022 Italian snow drought matters to you

June 2022: I was discussing the ongoing drought with my family over lunch, when my dad pointed to me and summarized things as follows: “You know, less snow in winter means less water in summer!” I almost choked … what? Not only was it the first time I realized my family had been listening to my scientific anecdotes for years, but I also had concrete evidence now that snow was entering public ...[Read More]

A new glacier chronology from New Zealand

A new glacier chronology from New Zealand

In this week’s blog, Levan Tielidze tells us about the new glacier history from the Southern Alps of New Zealand, an important piece of information to better understand the climatic history of Earth during the Quaternary, the current geologic period. Quaternary glaciations Geochronological dating of glacial moraines is useful for determining the extent and timing of past glaciation and for reconst ...[Read More]

Summer 2022: A perfect storm for Alpine glaciers

Summer 2022: A perfect storm for Alpine glaciers

The summer of 2022 is shaping up to be a perfect storm for Alpine glaciers. By a strange coincidence, all the factors that could adversely affect glacial dynamics seem to have come into agreement. Let’s find out why. What controls the behavior of Alpine glaciers? Snow, temperature, weather conditions and the properties of snow and ice. These are the most important factors governing the life ...[Read More]

Current challenges: high-altitude Chilean glacier monitoring in an extended drought

Current challenges: high-altitude Chilean glacier monitoring in an extended drought

Central Chile has been facing a long dry period since 2010, marked by a high mean precipitation deficit, a so-called Mega Drought (MD) (Garreaud et al., 2019). This, besides long-term temperature increase (Burger et al., 2018; Falvey & Garreaud, 2009), has affected negatively the glaciers’ mass balance in the region mainly due to low snow accumulation throughout a hydrological year (which is f ...[Read More]

Massive melting of Caucasus glaciers

Massive melting of Caucasus glaciers

The Caucasus is one of the most studied glacierized regions in the world (see previous Cryoblogs on Caucasus glaciers here and here). In this week’s blog, Levan Tielidze tells us about the health of the Greater Caucasus glaciers. His first study published this year indicates that the rate of decline in glacier extent between 2000 and 2020 in the Greater Caucasus is four times higher than it was be ...[Read More]

Time & space of glaciers

Time & space of glaciers

People usually perceive space and time, comparing them to their own life Words such as “forever” and “until the end” appear in fiction But how can we imagine the space and time of the mountain glaciers whose existence goes beyond our usual perception? And why is it so important for us now? With this post, researcher Alexandra Rogozhina shares her thoughts on these suggestive topics. Mostly, ...[Read More]

A place called home?

A place called home?

Welcome to Kongsfjorden in Svalbard. The front of the glaciers terminating into the sea is an ecological hotspot, home to many marine animals, like kittiwakes, who love to hunt here. They feed on small fish and shrimp, which at marine-terminating glacier fronts are brought to the surface by upwelling glacial meltwater. Retreating glaciers lose their contact with the ocean As the planet warms these ...[Read More]