Cryospheric Sciences


Did you know… Arctic lightning strikes are on the rise?

When we think of lightning, it is often accompanied by warm summer nights, tropical storms and a sticky feeling when we try to sleep. However, lightning also happens in the cold Arctic, and is even increasing in frequency. But how and why? And why does that matter? What is lightning? Lightning is caused by a difference in electrical charge between the cloud and the air, nearby clouds, or the groun ...[Read More]

For Dummies – How do wildfires impact permafrost? [OR.. a story of ice and fire]

Wildfire – like the ones observed in the Northwest Territories, Canada in 2014 (Fig. 1) – is a natural part of permafrost landscapes, but fires are expected to get more frequent and severe as the climate warms. This could accelerate the degradation of permafrost, with negative consequences on the local and global scale! We have a pretty good understanding of how permafrost responds to fire t ...[Read More]