CR
Cryospheric Sciences

For Dummies

Subglacial Hydrology For Dummies – Water, water everywhere…

Glaciers are mostly made of water. Sometimes, perhaps more than we’d like, some of that water makes a break for it by melting, the inconstant molecule… It might pootle around on the surface of the glacier a bit and get a lot of remote sensers very excited, but it’s what it does once it gets to the base of the glacier that really matters for the behaviour and flow of the ice. So, in 2000 word ...[Read More]

Hysteresis For Dummies – Why history matters

Hysteresis For Dummies – Why history matters

Perhaps you have stumbled upon the word ‘hysteresis’ before, for example in connection with the stability behavior of our Earth’s large ice sheets and their long-term effect on global sea-level rise, or the long-term stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or even in another context outside earth/climate science. Or you might have come across this term during your studies, bu ...[Read More]

How small changes can make a big difference: tipping points in Antarctica

As Antarctica’s mass loss increases, the threat of crossing tipping points both in the ice sheet and the surrounding Southern Ocean is increasing. But what actually is a tipping point? Have tipping points already been crossed in the past? And what might the future hold? What do we mean by a “tipping point”? Scientifically speaking, a tipping point is generally understood to be a threshold that, on ...[Read More]

For dummies – About ice sheet models and their cold relationship to climate models

Climate models help us understand processes occurring in and between atmosphere, oceans, land and ice-covered regions of our planet. One important process impacting all of us is sea level rise, and the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland (currently losing more and more ice) play a crucial role in future sea level rise projections. Even though climate models can be very complex and include many ...[Read More]

For Dummies – How do wildfires impact permafrost? [OR.. a story of ice and fire]

Wildfire – like the ones observed in the Northwest Territories, Canada in 2014 (Fig. 1) – is a natural part of permafrost landscapes, but fires are expected to get more frequent and severe as the climate warms. This could accelerate the degradation of permafrost, with negative consequences on the local and global scale! We have a pretty good understanding of how permafrost responds to fire t ...[Read More]

Ice Cores “For Dummies”

Ice Cores “For Dummies”

Ice cores are important tools for investigating past climate as they are effectively a continuous record of snowfall, which preserves historical information about climate conditions and atmospheric gas composition. In this new “For Dummies” post, we discuss the history and importance of ice-core science, and look at the way we can use ice core chemistry to reconstruct past climate. Ice sheets, arc ...[Read More]

Sea Level “For Dummies”

Sea Level “For Dummies”

Looking out over the sea on a quiet day with no wind, the word “flat” would certainly pop up in your mind to describe the sea surface. However, this serene view of a flat sea surface is far from accurate at the global scale. The apparent simplicity behind the concept of sea level hides more complex science that we hope to explain in a simple manner in today’s “For Dummies” post, which will g ...[Read More]

Water Masses “For Dummies”

Water Masses “For Dummies”

Polar surface water, circumpolar deep water, dense shelf water, North Atlantic deep water, Antarctic bottom water… These names pop in most discussions about the ice-ocean interaction and how this will change in a warming climate, but what do they refer to? In our second “For Dummies” article, we shall give you a brief introduction to the concept of “water mass”, explain how to differentiate water ...[Read More]

Marine Ice Sheet Instability “For Dummies”

Marine Ice Sheet Instability “For Dummies”

MISI is a term that is often thrown into dicussions and papers which talk about the contribution of Antarctica to sea-level rise but what does it actually mean and why do we care about it? MISI stands for Marine Ice Sheet Instability. In this article, we are going to attempt to explain this term to you and also show you why it is so important. Background The Antarctic Ice Sheet represents the larg ...[Read More]