So this is the last post in 2022 for our blog. We have decided that this time, the topic will not be another exciting story about the science of ice and cold in their various forms. This time we are talking about the blog itself, so a kind of meta-post to take stock and understand a little better how our blog works, what it is about, and who our main authors are. To this purpose, we asked all the ...[Read More]
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]
What are Snow Mechanics and why should we care?
Every time we walk, ski, drive or build upon snow, we’re relying upon the theory of Snow Mechanics; but what is that and why should we care? Mechanics is the engineering terminology used to describe “the branch of applied mathematics dealing with motion and forces producing motion” (Oxford Languages) or more simply, the study of motion, in our case the motion of snow. What causes snow to move? Ge ...[Read More]
Ice-hot news: A cryo-summary of the new IPCC assessment report!
We have waited eight years for it, and it is finally out: the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (a.k.a. « IPCC AR6 »)! And it is more than 10,000 pages long across Working Groups! Fortunately, a synthesis report integrating the findings of all three working groups should be released in Autumn 2022. However, we, at the EGU Cryosphere Blog, thought it might be us ...[Read More]
Cryo-Adventures – Hunting snow algae in the Alps
We are used to think of algae as marine or lacustrine organisms, but they are actually able to thrive also on the cryosphere. In a previous post, we learnt how snow algae live and reproduce on snow. Now we will explore how and why scientists study snow algae, and how social media can be used for identifying new study areas. Snow algae in the Alps Snow algae in the Alps have been overlooked or conf ...[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]
Image of the Week – What darkens snow and ice?
“Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow”. Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1 (W. Shakespeare) Snow and ice are not always as pristine as one may think. If you have ever walked on a glacier or on a snowfield during summer, you might have already noticed that. In fact, both snow and ice are often darkened by impurities. In this blog post, you will learn about the main processes leading to ice and snow darkeni ...[Read More]
Ice-hot news: The IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and the Cryosphere under Climate Change
You have probably heard the name “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)” mentioned frequently over the last few years. The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing science related to climate change and it publishes global assessment reports on this topic every 5 to 10 years. Due to the current urgency of the global climate crisis and the need for more information by decision makers ...[Read More]
An interview with… Marie Dumont
This week, we are interviewing Dr Marie Dumont. At the European Geosciences Union (EGU) general assembly in 2019, Marie was awarded the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientist. Marie is currently a research team leader and deputy scientific director for the Snow Research Centre (part of Centre National de Recherches Meteorologiques, Météo-France & Le Centre national de la Rec ...[Read More]
Image of the Week – Life in blooming melting snow
The new snow melting season has just started in the mountains of Europe and will last, in many alpine places, until the end of June. Weather in the middle of April is changeable. In the last few days sub-zero air temperatures have prevailed in the mountains during the day. In a frame of an international research project, me (Charles University) and Daniel Remias (Applied University Upper Austria), ...[Read More]