CR
Cryospheric Sciences

climate change

Fieldwork at 5,000 meters in altitude

Fieldwork at 5,000 meters in altitude

Imja Lake is one of the largest glacial lakes in the Nepal Himalaya and has received a great deal of attention in the last couple decades due to the potential for a glacial lake outburst flood. In response to these concerns, the UNDP has funded a project that is currently lowering the level of the lake by 3 m to reduce the flood hazard. The aim of our research efforts is to understand how quickly ...[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]

Image of the week — The warming effect of the decline of Arctic Sea Ice

Image of the week — The warming effect of the decline of Arctic Sea Ice

One of the most dramatic signals of Earth’s recent warming has been the precipitous decline of the Arctic sea ice. While the sea-ice decline is in response to warming ocean and atmosphere, it also has an important feed-back on the climate itself. Solar radiation and albedo Earth’s main energy source is solar radiation. This solar radiation is either absorbed in the atmosphere or at the ...[Read More]

Image of the Week — Historical aerial imagery of Greenland

Image of the Week — Historical aerial imagery of Greenland

A few month ago, we were taking you on a trip back to Antarctic fieldwork 50 years ago, today we go back to Greenland during 1930s! When geopolitics serves cryospheric sciences The Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague awarded Danish sovereignty over Greenland in 1933 and besides geopolitical interests, Denmark had a keen interest in searching for natural resources and new opportun ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – Storing water in Antarctica to delay sea-level rise

Image of the Week – Storing water in Antarctica to delay sea-level rise

  Sea level rise Sea-level rise is one of the main impacts of the current global warming and its rate has dramatically increased in the last decades (the current rate is about 3 mm per year). Even if greenhouse gas emissions were stopped today, sea level would continue to rise due to the slow Earth climate system response (IPCC, 2013, chap. 13). It is therefore a considerable threat for popul ...[Read More]

Image of The Week – The Ice Your Eyes Can’t See!

Image of The Week – The Ice Your Eyes Can’t See!

Ice sheets and glaciers are very visible and much photographed (e.g. here) elements of the Cryosphere but what about the vast, invisible and buried parts?  Around a quarter of the land in the Northern hemisphere remains frozen year round, making up a hugely important part of the cryosphere known as permafrost. Permafrost largely exists at high latitudes (e.g. Siberia and the Canadian Arctic) and t ...[Read More]

Image of the Week: The Bipolar Seesaw

Image of the Week: The Bipolar Seesaw

The colourful graphs above show how the climate changed in the period from 65 to 25 thousand years ago when Earth was experiencing an ice age. A wealth of information on the dynamics of our climate is embedded in the curves, especially how the northern and southern hemisphere interact, and how fast climate can change. The figure represents thousands and thousands of hours of work by scientists, te ...[Read More]

Image of the Week: Atmospheric CO2 from ice cores

Image of the Week: Atmospheric CO2 from ice cores

The measurements of atmospheric CO2 levels at Manu Loa, Hawaii read 401.01ppm on the 7th of December this year. To understand the significance of this number, you just need to look at the figure above from the 4th IPCC report. It shows the changes in CO2 concentrations during the past 800,000 years based on ice core measurements. Values have fluctuated between 190ppm and 280ppm. In other words, bo ...[Read More]

Image of the Week — Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise (from IPCC)

Image of the Week — Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise (from IPCC)

Context On the eve of the COP21, it is of paramount importance to recall how strongly the cryosphere is affected by Climate Change. Today, we present the impact of melting ice on sea level rise, as it is presented in the latest assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Quick facts -Since 1992, the Glaciers, Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets have risen the sea level by 14 ...[Read More]

Image of the Week : 63 years of the Muir Glacier’s retreat

Image of the Week : 63 years of the Muir Glacier’s retreat

The Muir is a valley glacier (Alaska) that has significantly retreated over the last 2 centuries. The 3 pictures have the same field of view and record the changes that occurred during the 63 years separating 1941 and 2004. In the 1941, the terminus of the glacier is on the lower right corner of the photo. The Muir is then a tidewater glacier up to 700m thick and is well connected to its tributary ...[Read More]