Snow and Avalanches

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

  • Arctic wintertime sea ice extent is among lowest on record
    on March 23, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Sea ice in the Arctic grew to its annual maximum extent last week, and joined 2015, 2016 and 2017 as the four lowest maximum extents on record, according to scientists. […]

  • Research suggests low density of snow leopards in Nepal`s Conservation Area
    on March 22, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    The snow leopard is a mammal species of the cat family found at high altitudes in Nepal and other countries around the Himalayan range. However, it has been included in the vulnerable category of IUCN Red list of threatened species in recent years for various reasons. […]

  • Wind, sea ice patterns point to climate change in western Arctic
    on March 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    A major shift in western Arctic wind patterns occurred throughout the winter of 2017 and the resulting changes in sea ice movement are possible indicators of a changing climate, says a researcher. […]

  • Rain or snow? Humidity, location can make all the difference, new map shows
    on March 20, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Researchers have created a map of the Northern Hemisphere showing how location and humidity can affect precipitation, illustrating wide variability in how and why different areas receive snow or rain. […]

  • Geoengineering polar glaciers to slow sea-level rise
    on March 19, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Targeted geoengineering to preserve continental ice sheets deserves serious research and investment, argues an international team of researchers. Without intervention, by 2100 most large coastal cities will face sea levels that are more than three feet higher than they are currently. […]

  • Glacier mass loss: Past the point of no return
    on March 19, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Researchers show in a recent study that the further melting of glaciers cannot be prevented in the current century -- even if all emissions were stopped now. However, due to the slow reaction of glaciers to climate change, our behavior has a massive impact beyond the 21st century: In the long run, five hundred meters by car with a mid-range vehicle will cost one kilogram of glacier ice. […]

  • Arctic sea ice becoming a spring hazard for North Atlantic ships
    on March 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    More Arctic sea ice is entering the North Atlantic Ocean than before, making it increasingly dangerous for ships to navigate those waters in late spring, according to new research. […]

  • Soot transported from elsewhere in world contributes little to melting of some Antarctic glaciers
    on March 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    Airborne soot produced by wildfires and fossil-fuel combustion and transported to the remote McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica contains levels of black carbon too low to contribute significantly to the melting of local glaciers, according to a new study. […]

  • Greenland glaciers' varied vulnerability to melting
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Using data from NASA missions observing Earth, researchers have created new maps of the bed topography beneath a score of glaciers in southeast Greenland, thereby gaining a much better understanding of why some are undergoing rapid retreat and others are relatively stable. […]

  • Exceptionally large amount of winter snow in Northern Hemisphere this year
    on March 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    The new Arctic Now product shows with one picture the extent of the area in the Northern Hemisphere currently covered by ice and snow. This kind of information, which shows the accurate state of the Arctic, becomes increasingly important due to climate change. […]

  • Global warming increases the risk of avalanches
    on March 14, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    The impacts of global warming are felt especially in mountainous regions, where the rise in temperatures is above average, affecting both glacierized landscapes and water resources. The repercussions of these changes are manifold and varied, from retreating glaciers to an increase in the frequency and intensity of snow avalanches. A team of researchers has employed dendrochronology -– the reconstruction of past disasters as recorded in growth series of trees -– to disentangle the role of global warming in the triggering avalanches. […]

  • Chain reaction of fast-draining lakes poses new risk for Greenland ice sheet
    on March 14, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    A growing network of lakes on the Greenland ice sheet has been found to drain in a chain reaction that speeds up the flow of the ice sheet, threatening its stability. […]

  • Warm Arctic means colder, snowier winters in northeastern US, study says
    on March 13, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Scientists have linked the frequency of extreme winter weather in the United States to Arctic temperatures. […]

  • How much snow accumulates in North America each year? More than scientists thought
    on March 13, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Scientists have revised an estimate of snow volume for the entire continent, and they've discovered that snow accumulation in a typical year is 50 percent higher than previously thought. Researchersplace the yearly estimate at about 1,200 cubic miles of snow. If spread evenly across the surface of the continent from Canada to Mexico, the snow would measure a little over 7.5 inches deep. […]

  • Glaciers in Mongolia's Gobi Desert actually shrank during the last ice age
    on March 6, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    High in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, the climate is so dry and cold that glaciers shrank during the last ice age. Dating of rock deposits shows how glaciers in this less-studied region behave very differently as the climate shifts. […]

  • Snowpack levels show dramatic decline in western states, U.S.
    on March 2, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    A new study of long-term snow monitoring sites in the western United States found declines in snowpack at more than 90 percent of those sites -- and one-third of the declines were deemed significant. […]

  • Sea-level legacy: 20 cm more rise by 2300 for each 5-year delay in peaking emissions
    on February 20, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Peaking global carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible is crucial for limiting the risks of sea-level rise, even if global warming is limited to well below 2 degrees C. A new study analyzes for the first time the sea-level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement. […]

  • Student research team accelerates snow melt with 'Melt Mat'
    on February 15, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Snow storms often leave behind reminders of their presence for days - sometimes weeks - after warmer and sunnier weather returns. Snowbanks, often created by snow plows as they clear major roadways, can linger in parking lots, on sidewalks, and in driveways even when temperatures rise well above freezing. […]

  • 'Evolutionary rescue' areas for animals threatened by climate change
    on February 15, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    As winters arrive later and snow melts earlier, the worldwide decrease in snow cover already may have dramatic impacts on animals that change coat colors with the seasons. An international scientific team has set out to discover whether adaptive evolution can rescue these animals in the face of rapidly changing climate. […]

  • NASA's longest running survey of ice shattered records in 2017
    on February 13, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    Last year was a record-breaking one for Operation IceBridge, NASA's aerial survey of the state of polar ice. […]

  • Mysterious lives of narwhals
    on February 9, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Narwhals are some of the most elusive creatures in the ocean, spending most of their lives in deep water far from shore. But new research may shed a bit of light on these enigmatic marine mammals. […]

  • Sea ice algae blooms in the dark
    on February 6, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Researchers have measured a new world record: Small ice algae on the underside of the Arctic sea ice live and grow at a light level corresponding to only 0.02 percent of the light at the surface of the ice. Algae are the primary component of the Arctic food web and produce food far earlier in the year than previously thought. […]

  • Sea floor uplift after last ice age causes methane release in the Arctic today
    on February 6, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Present-day release of methane from an area of the Arctic Ocean is an effect of the uplift of the sea floor, rather than anthropogenic ocean warming, a new study states. […]

  • North American ice sheet decay decreased climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere
    on February 5, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    The changing topography of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere during the last Ice Age forced changes in the climate of Antarctica, a previously undocumented inter-polar climate change mechanism. […]

  • Cloud seeding for snow: Does it work? Scientists report first quantifiable observations
    on January 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    For the first time, scientists have obtained direct, quantifiable observations of cloud seeding for increased snowfall -- from the growth of ice crystals, through the processes that occur in clouds, to the eventual snowfall. […]

  • Interacting Antarctic glaciers may cause faster melt and sea level contributions
    on January 24, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Two of the most rapidly changing glaciers in Antarctica, which are leading contributors to sea-level rise, may behave as an interacting system rather than separate entities, according to a new analysis of radar data. […]

  • Predicting snowpack even before the snow falls
    on January 22, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    As farmers in the American West decide what, when and where to plant, and urban water managers plan for water needs in the next year, they want to know how much water their community will get from melting snow in the mountains. This melting snow comes from snowpack, the high elevation reservoir of snow which melts in the spring and summer. New NOAA research is showing we can predict snow levels in the mountains of the West in March some eight months in advance. […]

  • Climate change and snowmelt -- turn up the heat, but what about humidity?
    on January 22, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Changes in humidity may determine how the contribution of snowpack to streams, lakes and groundwater changes as the climate warms. Surprisingly, cloudy, gray and humid winter days can actually cause the snowpack to warm faster, increasing the likelihood of melt during winter months when the snowpack should be growing, the authors report. In contrast, under clear skies and low humidity the snow can become colder than the air, preserving the snowpack until spring. […]

  • Heat loss from Earth's interior triggers ice sheet slide towards the sea
    on January 22, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    In North-East Greenland, researchers have measured the loss of heat that comes up from the interior of the Earth. This enormous area is a geothermal 'hot spot' that melts the ice sheet from below and triggers the sliding of glaciers towards the sea. […]

  • Warming Arctic climate constrains life in cold-adapted mammals
    on January 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    A new study has uncovered previously unknown effects of rain-on-snow events, winter precipitation and ice tidal surges on the muskoxen. […]