CR
Cryospheric Sciences

Cryospheric Sciences

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]

Did you know the differences between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice?

Did you know the differences between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice?

If you look at the maps in Figure 1, you will quickly see that sea ice is present in both polar regions (Arctic at the top, Antarctic at the bottom). Despite this apparent similarity, some differences exist between Arctic (in the Northern Hemisphere) and Antarctic (in the Southern Hemisphere) sea ice. We provide a brief explanation of two key differences in this post. Geography The first main diff ...[Read More]

The intriguing order of cold terrains

The intriguing order of cold terrains

Do you know what the periglacial environment is? Well, the word periglacial refers to those environments which are somehow sculpted by seasonal freeze and thaw cycles. The alternation of freezing and thawing conditions can change the landscape, creating some spectacular landforms. Stone circles are certainly among the most mysterious and fascinating. Come and discover them! Some definitions Glacia ...[Read More]

phase-sensitive Radio Echo Sounder, a.k.a. pRES, For Dummies

phase-sensitive Radio Echo Sounder, a.k.a. pRES, For Dummies

Greetings! My name is Reza. I’m (still) A PhD candidate in Geophysics and Glaciology at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Today, I will tell you all about a device named pRES, a radar system designed to study ice. Well, pRES and I have had an immense love/hate relationship during the last four years. It is one of the main tools I have used during my PhD, working in the Alps and Antarctica. I ...[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]

Did you know that snow is hot?

Did you know that snow is hot?

When I was a student, Martin told me matter-of-factly that snow is hot. I probably looked as baffled as I felt (and you are probably doing the same). Were we talking about the same thing? Continue reading to discover why snow is hot! Discovering that snow is hot So why is snow hot? Most snow under Earth’s environmental conditions has a homologous temperature Th close to 1. The homologous temperatu ...[Read More]

Cryo Adventures – Installing a weather station on the Greenland Ice Sheet

Cryo Adventures – Installing a weather station on the Greenland Ice Sheet

Soaking up the sun and recharging batteries on a peaceful and quiet summer day, or fighting to stay upright during extreme snow storms in the middle of winter, while continuously recording valuable air temperature, pressure, wind-speed and so much more – such is the life of an automatic weather station on the Greenland ice sheet. Even though they are so remote, sitting by themselves surround ...[Read More]

Cryo History – Extent of South Georgia Glaciation during the Last Glacial Maximum

Cryo History – Extent of South Georgia Glaciation during the Last Glacial Maximum

There has been considerable disagreement amongst researchers concerning the extent of South Georgia’s ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The sub-Antarctic islands (those below the polar front) may have been completely glaciated during previous glacials, and the last largest extent of the South Georgia ice sheet was during the LGM, about 21,000 years ago. But glaciologists don’t agree ...[Read More]