CR
Cryospheric Sciences

climate change

Did you know about Artificial Glaciers?

Did you know about Artificial Glaciers?

There are several ways that we can classify glaciers. We can look at their shape, their size, their type of terminus, and many other features. A new characteristic has recently been gaining in popularity: artificiality. Yes, we now have a few artificial glaciers! Have you ever heard about them? They are glaciers whose behavior is directly influenced by human interventions in order to improve their ...[Read More]

The softness of ice, how we measure it, and why it matters for sea level rise

The softness of ice, how we measure it, and why it matters for sea level rise

One of the first things school children learn is that ice is a solid, and forms by freezing water. Most people think of ice as brittle–have you ever dropped a slippery ice cube on the kitchen floor, and watch it break and shatter into many pieces? It may be surprising, then, to find that ice can also stretch and squeeze, like a ball of pizza dough! Once deformed, ice is then softer in certai ...[Read More]

On snowmelt, water security, and a warming climate – Why solution-oriented research matters, now more than ever

1 April 2015: for the first time on record, the chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys, Frank Gehrke, had no snow to measure at the Phillips Snow Course near Lake Tahoe at the end of the winter. This was in some ways unsurprising, as California had been in a drought since 2012. But drought was nothing new in the state, and this was the first time on record that snow was completely absent ...[Read More]

Climate Change and Cryosphere – What can we learn from the smallest, most vulnerable glaciers in the Ötztal Alps?

The Alps were the first mountains to be studied from a glaciological point of view in the 19th century and they host some of the most studied glaciers of Earth. Some of them are found in the Central Alps and in particular, the Ötztal Alps. Just to cite the most known and largest glaciers in this Alpine sector, we can mention Hintereisferner or Vernagtferner. But in the Ötztal Alps you can also fin ...[Read More]

Did you know that glacier mass loss affects water resources?

The picture above shows a typical Kyrgyz summer yurt camp, located in the valley of Altyn-Arashan, Kyrgyzstan. The stream you see flowing through comes from the glacier-fed lake of Ala-Kul, the gorgeous turquoise water featured below. The families who live there during summer have done so for generations, and travel up with their herds of horses and cows. The stream provides the water they need fo ...[Read More]

Time To Reflect

Albedo or albedon’t? One possible solution to global warming is to turn everything white to increase the planet’s albedo, i.e. how reflective it is (see, for example, this website). A higher albedo would be one way to reduce global warming, by reducing the amount of incoming shortwave solar radiation absorbed by the planet’s surface, which is then re-emitted as longwave radiation that ...[Read More]

The physical and social changes facing the mountainous populations of the Karakoram Range

The physical and social changes facing the mountainous populations of the Karakoram Range

As a child, Shakir remembers long extreme winters with heavy snowfall and dry blistering winds, where it was hard to play outside. He grew up in a village named Gulmit, located at an elevation of 2500 m, surrounded by the high snow caped mountains in the Karakoram Range in northern Pakistan. That was 30 years ago, when climate change was still not a cause of concern for the local people. Today, in ...[Read More]

Did you know… the Andes are so cryo-diverse?

Extending for almost 8,000 km along the west of South America, the Andes are the longest continental mountain range in the world. They portray an impressive richness and diversity of cryospheric features, including: the most substantial extension of tropical glaciers on Earth, one of the highest densities of rock glaciers, the largest glacierized area in the Southern Hemisphere outside Antarctica, ...[Read More]

Does debris cover offset glacier retreat in the Greater Caucasus?

Does debris cover offset glacier retreat in the Greater Caucasus?

In this week’s blog, Levan Tielidze tells us about supra-glacial debris cover change for the Greater Caucasus. His recent study indicates more than a doubling in the area of supra-glacial debris cover for the Elbrus Massif‘s glaciers from 1986 to 2014, the largest glacierized massif in the whole region. Glaciers on the western slope of the Elbrus Massif are affected by avalanches and thus ar ...[Read More]

Climate Change & Cryosphere – The fate of Georgian Glaciers

Display content from YouTube Click here to display content from YouTube. Learn more in YouTube’s privacy policy. Always display content from YouTube Open “The fate of Georgian Glaciers” directly 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 gl ...[Read More]