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Glaciers Current Events

A Record of Acid Rain in Greenland Ice
April 15, 2014 | University of Washington

“By analyzing samples from the Greenland ice sheet, University of Washington atmospheric scientists found clear evidence of the U.S. Clean Air Act. They also discovered a link between air acidity and how nitrogen is preserved in layers of snow.” Quoted from the University of Washington press release.

Extreme Ice Survey at Antarctica Peninsula
April 8, 2014 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article and video titled: “Chasing Ice Photographer Focuses on Melting Glaciers in Antarctica”…. they bolt nine time lapse cameras to bedrock overlooking glaciers and photograph them every hour during daylight.

Washington Landslide: USGS Summary
April 7, 2014 | USGS

USGS has published a summary observations on the large landslide near Oso, Washington.

“The slide took place along the edge of a plateau about 600 feet high composed of glacial sediments. The volume of the slide is estimated to be about 10 million cubic yards, and it traveled about 0.7 miles from the toe of the slope. This travel distance is about three times longer than expected based on published information regarding previous slides of this height and volume worldwide. If the landslide had behaved in the expected range, it would have likely blocked the river and possibly destroyed a few houses. Instead it led to tragic loss of life and destruction of property.” Quoted from the USGS summary.

Climate Change and Ice Climbing
March 16, 2014 | Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Oregon Public Broadcasting website has a short article titled: “What Does Climate Change Mean for Ice Climbing?“.

A Glacial Speed Record
February 9, 2014 | National Geographic

The Jakobshavn Glacier, which is thought to have produced the iceberg that sank the Titanic is moving about 4x as fast as it was in the 1990s.

Huge Trench Discovered Beneath Antarctic Ice
February 2, 2014 | Newcastle University

Researchers have discovered a feature larger than the Grand Canyon beneath the ice of Antarctica. They describe it as: “a massive subglacial valley up to 3 kilometres deep, more than 300 kilometres long and up to 25 kilometres across. In places, the floor of this valley is more than 2000 metres below sea level.” Quoted from the Newcastle University press release.

Mapping the Winter Pace of Glaciers in Iceland
January 28, 2014 | NASA

A high-precision radar instrument from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., left Southern California for Iceland today to create detailed maps of how glaciers move in the dead of winter

Drilling Problems Exploring Subglacial Lakes in Antarctica
January 23, 2014 |

A Nature article looks at the problems encountered when researchers attempt to drill into lakes beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The Greenland Ice Sheet Holds an Unusual Aquifer
January 1, 2014 | The University of Utah

“Researchers have discovered a new aquifer in the Greenland Ice Sheet that holds liquid water all year long in the otherwise perpetually frozen winter landscape. [...] The reservoir is known as a “perennial firn aquifer” because water persists within the firn – layers of snow and ice that don’t melt for at least one season.” Quoted from The University of Utah press release.

Warm Ocean Water Melting and Antarctic Glacier
September 24, 2013 | Penn State

“Warm ocean water, not warm air, is melting the Pine Island Glacier’s floating ice shelf in Antarctica and may be the culprit for increased melting of other ice shelves.”

First Map of Icelandic Glaciers and Subglacier Calderas
September 19, 2013 | USGS

“For the first time, all of Iceland’s glaciers are shown on a single map. The map is the first to incorporate historical data and coverage from aerial photographs and remote sensing satellites, such as Landsat and SPOT, to show the change in the areal extent of glaciers during the past century. [...] Knowing which volcanic calderas lie beneath glaciers and their history of volcanic activity is important for disaster preparation and mitigation.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Huge Crater in Antarctic Ice
September 16, 2013 | European Space Agency

“ESA’s CryoSat satellite has found a vast crater in Antarctica’s icy surface. Scientists believe the crater was left behind when a lake lying under about 3 km of ice suddenly drained.” Quoted from the ESA press release.

Studying Greenland Glaciers with Mathematics
September 12, 2013 | National Science Foundation

New quantitative information about glacier melting will help fine tune climate models and improve predictions for sea level rise.

Life Found in an Antarctic Subglacial Lake
September 11, 2013 | British Antarctic Survey

“What was surprising was the high biomass and diversity we found. This is the first time microbes have been identified living in the sediments of a subglacial Antarctic lake and indicates that life can exist and potentially thrive in environments we would consider too extreme.” Quoted from the British Antarctic Survey press release.

Canyon Beneath Greenland Ice is 460 Miles Long
September 1, 2013 | NASA

“Hidden for all of human history, a 460 mile long canyon has been discovered below Greenland’s ice sheet. Using radar data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge and other airborne campaigns, scientists led by a team from the University of Bristol found the canyon runs from near the center of the island northward to the fjord of the Petermann Glacier.” Quoted from the NASA video release.

Plumbing Under the Greenland Ice Sheet
August 27, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“Scientists’ understanding of how Greenland Ice Sheet melt water travels in passages along the bedrock below fails to account for some key processes. This, in turn may be affecting their assessment of how ice sheets respond to climate change.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.

How Surface Water Lubricates the Bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet
August 14, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“Supraglacial lakes — bodies of water that collect on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet — lubricate the bottom of the ice when they drain, causing it to flow faster.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.

Topography Below Antarctic Ice
June 10, 2013 | British Antarctic Survey

“Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey have been working with a host of international collaborators to present the most detailed map yet of Antarctica’s landmass. [...] The map allows scientists to analyse, in much greater detail, the bed below the Antarctic ice sheet.” Quoted from the British Antarctic Survey press release.

A Himalayan Tsunami?
June 2, 2013 |

As rising temperatures melt the ice and snow in the Himalayas the threat of glacial lake outbursts increases.

Reviving Moss Frozen for 400 Years
May 31, 2013 | National Geographic

Moss frozen for an estimated 400 years in a Nunavut glacier has been exposed by glacial retreat and is growing again.

Northern Hemisphere Losing Its Last Dry-Snow Region
May 24, 2013 | Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

“Last July, something unprecedented in the 34-year satellite record happened: 98 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet’s surface melted, compared to roughly 50 percent during an average summer.” Quoted from the CIRES press release.

Melting Glaciers and Sea Level Rise
May 19, 2013 | University of Colorado Boulder

“While 99 percent of Earth’s land ice is locked up in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the remaining ice in the world’s glaciers contributed just as much to sea rise as the two ice sheets combined from 2003 to 2009.” Quoted from the University of Colorado Boulder press release.

Landslide Over the Black Rapids Glacier
April 30, 2013 | Alaska Dispatch

The Alaska Dispatch has an article with photos that tell the story of a landslide covering the Black Rapids Glacier during the 2002 Denali Fault Earthquake.

Archived in Ice
April 10, 2013 | American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History has an interesting video about the Quelccaya ice cap in the Peruvian Andes, where researchers are collecting cores to document past climate change recorded in the ice.

Micro-Sub in a Buried Antarctic Lake
March 3, 2013 | NASA

This video shows how a NASA micro-sub was deployed 2000 feet down a borehole to investigate one of the subglacial lakes in Antarctica.

Spying on China’s Glaciers
February 18, 2013 | Scientific American

An article in Scientific American reports that time lapse cameras, placed by a U.S. geologist from the University of Colorado at Boulder to record glacial melting in the Himalayas, were confiscated with the accusation that they were being used to “spy on China”. See some of the videos here.

Status: Yosemite’s Lyell Glacier Stagnant
February 5, 2013 | Yosemite National Park

“The Lyell Glacier, the largest glacier in Yosemite National Park, has stagnated, or ceased its downhill movement, according to a recent study conducted by scientists from the National Park Service and the University of Colorado. The adjacent Maclure Glacier is still moving at its historical rate, about one inch per day.” Quoted from the Yosemite National Park press release.

National Climate Assessment
January 25, 2013 | U.S. Global Change Research Program

“Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting. These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.” Quoted from the Executive Summary of the Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report

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