CR
Cryospheric Sciences

ice sheet

Image of the Week — Where do people stay in the “coolest” place on earth?

Image of the Week — Where do people stay in the “coolest” place on earth?

What word would you use to characterise the Antarctic ? White? Windy? Remote? Empty? Inhospitable? Wild? Preserved? While all of these are true it may surprise you to find out that the Antarctic is occupied by humans all year round with almost half of its 82 research stations operating 365.25 days a year! Just a few hours before the launch of the biennial Antarctic meeting held by the Science Comm ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – How ocean tides affect ice flow

Image of the Week – How ocean tides affect ice flow

Ice streams discharge approximately 90% of the Antarctic ice onto ice shelves , and ultimately into the sea into the sea (Bamber et al., 2000; Rignot et al., 2011). Whilst flow-speed changes on annual timescales are frequently discussed, we consider here what happens on much shorter timescales! Previous studies have shown that ice streams can respond to ocean tides at distances up to 100km inland ...[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 – Ballooning on the Ice

Image of The Week – Ballooning on the Ice

A curious experiment is taking place in Greenland. An experiment involving very large balloons and – of course – a lot of snow. Read on to discover why balloons are an environmentally friendly tool when constructing an ice core drill camp. Last year, a small team traversed 400km from northwest Greenland to the EastGRIP site (read more about the traverse here). This year another strenuous task is w ...[Read More]

An Antarctic Road Trip

An Antarctic Road Trip

Working in the Arctic and Antarctic presents its own challenges. It is perhaps easy to imagine how a station situated close to the coast is resupplied: during the summer, one or more ships will arrive bringing fuel, food and equipment, but what about stations inland? Flying in supplies by aircraft is expensive and, in the case of large quantities of fuel, unsustainable. Besides, many stations are ...[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]

Careers at the European Space Agency – How and Why?

Careers at the European Space Agency – How and Why?

As the pace of modern life speeds up and job competition becomes even more fierce, it is good to have a focused plan of where you would like to be in the future. The European Space Agency (ESA) offers traineeships and research positions to young scientists on a regular basis. They may be a springboard into your chosen career path, but how do you go about bagging one of these valuable opportunities ...[Read More]

Image of the Week — Last Glacial Maximum in Europe

Image of the Week — Last Glacial Maximum in Europe

During the last ice age*, ~70,000 to 20,000 years ago, the climate was much colder in Europe. As a result, the northern part of Europe was fully covered by the Fennoscandian (a.k.a the Scandinavian ) ice sheet, which extended up to the British Isles and some parts of Poland and Germany. In central Europe, the Alps were also almost fully glaciated. The storage of all this ice on the continent lower ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – Changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet Documented by Satellite

Image of the Week – Changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet Documented by Satellite

Monitoring the changing ice mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet provides valuable information about how the ice sheet is responding to changing climate, but how do we make these measurements over such a large area of ice? Using NASA’s GRACE satellites (twin-satellites flying in formation) it is possible to make detailed measurements of the Earth’s gravitational field. As ice is gained/lost from ...[Read More]

Image of the Week — Greenland ice sheet and clouds

Image of the Week — Greenland ice sheet and clouds

A new study combining satellite observations and model simulations shows that clouds increase meltwater runoff in Greenland by one-third compared to a cloud-free scenario. Precipitation effects not considered, clouds above the Greenland ice sheet reduce its Surface Mass Balance (SMB) [red in figure] compared to clear-sky conditions [blue in figure]. Because clouds trap the outgoing radiation from ...[Read More]