Snow and Avalanches

Snow and Avalanches News -- ScienceDaily Learn about snowfall and avalanches. Read research on snow and ice composition and more.

  • Strong El Niño events cause large changes in Antarctic ice shelves
    on January 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    A new study reveals that strong El Nino events can cause significant ice loss in some Antarctic ice shelves while the opposite may occur during strong La Nina events. […]

  • Algae growth reduces reflectivity, enhances Greenland ice sheet melting
    on December 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    New research shows algae growing on the Greenland ice sheet, the Earth's second-largest ice sheet, significantly reduce the surface reflectivity of the ice sheet's bare ice area and contribute more to its melting than dust or black carbon. The new findings could influence scientists' understanding of ice sheet melting and projections of future sea level rise, according to the study's authors. […]

  • Life on the ice: For the first time scientists have directly observed living bacteria in polar ice...
    on December 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    For the first time scientists have directly observed living bacteria in polar ice and snow -- an environment once considered sterile. The new evidence has the potential to alter perceptions about which planets in the universe could sustain life and may mean that humans are having an even greater impact on levels of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere than accepted evidence from climate history studies of ice cores suggests. […]

  • Warming seas double snowfall around North America's tallest peaks
    on December 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Research finds dramatic increases in snowfall since the beginning of the Industrial Age and explains global climate connections linking northern mountains with tropical oceans. […]

  • Effects of climate change could accelerate by mid-century
    on December 14, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Environmental models are showing that the effects of climate change could be much stronger by the middle of the 21st century, and a number of ecosystem and weather conditions could consistently decline even more in the future. […]

  • East Antarctic Ice Sheet has history of instability
    on December 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    The East Antarctic Ice Sheet locks away enough water to raise sea level an estimated 53 meters (174 feet). It's also thought to be among the most stable, not gaining or losing mass even as ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland shrink. New research has found that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet may not be as stable as it seems. […]

  • Tiny globetrotters: Bacteria which live in the Arctic and the Antarctic
    on December 13, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Geoscientists have compared micro-organisms in the polar regions, noting that some bacteria can be found in both regions of Earth. […]

  • Oldest ice core ever drilled outside the polar regions
    on December 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    The oldest ice core ever drilled outside the polar regions may contain ice that formed during the Stone Age -- more than 600,000 years ago, long before modern humans appeared. […]

  • Tiny ice losses at Antarctica's fringes can accelerate ice loss far away
    on December 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    It is known that the ice shelves surrounding the continent regulate the ice flow from the land into the ocean. Now scientists found that also melting near the fringes and in the midst of the ice shelves can have direct effects reaching very far inland. This could increase ice loss and hence sea-level rise. […]

  • Extreme fieldwork, climate modeling yields new insight into predicting Greenland's melt
    on December 8, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    A new study brings together scientists from land hydrology, glaciology and climate modeling to unravel a meltwater mystery. Researchers discovered that some meltwater from the lakes and rivers atop the region's glaciers, is being stored and trapped on top of the glacier inside a low-density, porous 'rotten ice.' This phenomenon affects climate model predictions of Greenland's meltwater. […]

  • New laser technology could reduce accidents on icy roads
    on December 1, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Researchers have proposed an innovative new solution to dealing with dangerous icy roads in winter, putting forward an improved, safer method. […]

  • Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar
    on November 20, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    New maps of a mountainous landscape under a key glacier in West Antarctica will be a valuable aid in forecasting sea level changes. […]

  • Shape of Lake Ontario generates white-out blizzards, study shows
    on November 15, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    A 6-foot-wide snow blower mounted on a tractor makes a lot of sense when you live on the Tug Hill Plateau. Tug Hill, in upstate New York, is one of the snowiest places in the Eastern US and experiences some of the most intense snowstorms in the world. This largely rural region, just east of Lake Ontario, gets an average of 20 feet of snow a year, and a new report explains why. […]

  • Structure and origins of glacial polish on Yosemite's rocks
    on November 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    The glaciers that carved Yosemite Valley left highly polished surfaces on many of the region's rock formations. These smooth, shiny surfaces, known as glacial polish, are common in the Sierra Nevada and other glaciated landscapes. Geologists have now taken a close look at the structure and chemistry of glacial polish and found that it consists of a thin coating smeared onto the rock as the glacier moved over it. […]

  • Ice sheets as large as Greenland's melted fast in a warming climate
    on November 10, 2017 at 3:40 am

    New research shows that climate warming reduced the mass of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet by half in as little as 500 years, indicating the Greenland Ice Sheet could have a similar fate. […]

  • How climate change may reshape subalpine wildflower communities
    on November 7, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    An unseasonably warm, dry summer in 2015 on Washington state's Mount Rainier caused subalpine wildflowers to change their bloom times and form 'reassembled' communities, with unknown consequences for species interactions among wildflowers, pollinators and other animals. […]

  • Hot news from the Antarctic underground
    on November 7, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    A new study adds evidence that a geothermal heat source called a mantle plume lies deep below Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land, explaining some of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet. […]

  • Federal climate science report for U.S. released
    on November 6, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    The newly released Climate Science Special Report describes current trends in the climate globally and for the U.S., and projects trends in temperature, precipitation, sea-level rise and Arctic sea ice for the remainder of this century. […]

  • New Greenland maps show more glaciers at risk
    on November 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    New maps of Greenland's coastal seafloor and bedrock beneath its massive ice sheet show that two to four times as many coastal glaciers are at risk of accelerated melting as had previously been thought. […]

  • Intensifying winds could increase east Antarctica's contribution to sea level rise
    on November 1, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Totten Glacier, the largest glacier in East Antarctica, is being melted from below by warm water that reaches the ice when winds over the ocean are strong, according to research. The new findings are a cause for concern because the glacier holds more than 11 feet of sea level rise and acts as a plug that helps lock in the ice of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. […]

  • 'Scars' left by icebergs record West Antarctic ice retreat
    on October 25, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Thousands of marks on the Antarctic seafloor, caused by icebergs which broke free from glaciers more than ten thousand years ago, show how part of the Antarctic Ice Sheet retreated rapidly at the end of the last ice age as it balanced precariously on sloping ground and became unstable. […]

  • Ice sheets may melt rapidly in response to distant volcanoes
    on October 24, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Volcanic eruptions have been known to cool the global climate, but they can also exacerbate the melting of ice sheets, according to a new paper. […]

  • Mountain glaciers shrinking across Western U.S.
    on October 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    A technique using satellites to create twice-yearly elevation maps of US mountain glaciers provides new insight into thinning of glaciers in the lower 48 states. […]

  • Melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline
    on October 13, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    For the first time, ocean data from Northeast Greenland reveals the long-term impact of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The observed increase in freshwater content will affect the conditions in all Greenland fjords and may ultimately affect the global ocean currents that keep Europe warm. […]

  • Antarctica: Return of the Weddell polynya supports Kiel climate model
    on September 29, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Currently, winter has still a firm grip on Antarctica. At this time of the year, the Weddell Sea usually is covered with a thick layer of sea ice. In spite of the icy temperatures in the region, satellite images depict a large ice-free area in the middle of the ice cover. […]

  • New iceberg calved from Pine Island Glacier
    on September 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    A new iceberg calved from Pine Island Glacier -- one of the main outlets where ice from the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet flows into the ocean. […]

  • Antarctica: The wind sublimates snowflakes
    on September 25, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    A team of researchers has collected new data that shows a significant decrease in snow precipitation close to the ground in Antarctica, which has an impact on the ice sheet surface mass balance. […]

  • Winter cold extremes linked to high-altitude polar vortex weakening
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    When the strong winds that circle the Arctic slacken, cold polar air can escape and cause extreme winter chills in parts of the Northern hemisphere. A new study finds that these weak states have become more persistent over the past four decades and can be linked to cold winters in Russia and Europe. […]

  • Atmospheric effects of Arctic snowmelt
    on September 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Researchers are exploring the changing chemistry of the Arctic's atmosphere to help answer the question of what happens as snow and ice begin to melt. […]

  • End-of-summer Arctic sea ice extent is eighth lowest on record
    on September 19, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its yearly lowest extent on Sept. 13, scientists have reported. Analysis of satellite data showed that at 1.79 million square miles (4.64 million square kilometers), this year's Arctic sea ice minimum extent is the eighth lowest in the consistent long-term satellite record, which began in 1978. […]