CR
Cryospheric Sciences

Antarctica

It’s not you, it’s me(lange): ice shelf break-up triggered by mélange and sea-ice loss

It’s not you, it’s me(lange): ice shelf break-up triggered by mélange and sea-ice loss

Between March and May 2007, a total of ~2,445 km2 (equivalent to over 17 football pitches) of ice mélange (a mixture of sea-ice types, icebergs and snow) and part of Voyeykov Ice Shelf in East Antarctica rapidly broke up. Observations of the timing and triggers of such events are relatively rare in East Antarctica, compared to ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula. Recent work highlights the impo ...[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]

©LEt’sGO to Antarctica !

©LEt’sGO to Antarctica !

With the current situation, polar fieldwork might be/have been cancelled and we have a suggestion to remedy your field-blues… Why not use ©LEGO to pretend you’re back in the field with the added bonus that you get to be in the warmth and comfort of your home! Here, we’ve re-enacted radar fieldwork that took place a year and a half ago in Antarctica… But first, let’s start with some backgroun ...[Read More]

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]

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]

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]

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 – Capturing Ice

Cryo-Comm – Capturing Ice

In this week’s blogpost, author, editor, artist, and outreach expert Marlo Garnsworthy gives some insights into her recent trip to Iceberg Alley, gives you some tips on how to communicate icy science, and shows us her inspirational artwork. If you’re reading this, ice may be on your mind. Ice is surely on mine. During my day job as a creative and editor, I dip frequently into Twitter for the lates ...[Read More]