Snow and Avalanches

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  • Expected sea-level rise following Antarctic ice shelves' collapse
    on July 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Scientists have shown how much sea level would rise if Larsen C and George VI, Antarctic ice shelves at risk of collapse, were to break up. While Larsen C has received much attention due to the break-away of a trillion-ton iceberg from it last summer, its collapse would contribute only a few millimeters to sea-level rise. The break-up of the smaller George VI Ice Shelf would have a much larger impact. […]

  • Scientists lack vital knowledge on rapid Arctic climate change
    on July 18, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Arctic climate change research relies on field measurements and samples that are too scarce, and patchy at best, according to a comprehensive review study. The researchers looked at thousands of scientific studies, and found that around 30% of cited studies were clustered around only two research stations in the vast Arctic region. […]

  • Changes in Hudson River may offer insight into how glaciers grew
    on July 13, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Researchers say they may be able to estimate how glaciers moved by examining how the weight of the ice sheet altered topography and led to changes in the course of the river. […]

  • How ocean warmth triggers glacial melting far away
    on July 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    The melting of glaciers on one side of the globe can trigger disintegration of glaciers on the other side of the globe, as has been presented by scientists, who investigated marine microalgae preserved in glacial deposits and subsequently used their findings to perform climate simulations. […]

  • Pulse of the polar vortex revealed: A key to mapping future storms
    on July 10, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    If you can predict the path of the jet stream, the upper atmosphere's undulating river of wind, then you can predict weather -- not just for a week or two, but for an entire season. A new study moves toward that level of foresight by revealing a physical link between the speed and location of the jet stream and the strength of the polar vortex, a swirl of air that usually hovers over the Arctic. […]

  • Scientists capture breaking of glacier in Greenland
    on July 9, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    A team of scientists has captured on video a four-mile iceberg breaking away from a glacier in eastern Greenland, an event that points to one of the forces behind global sea-level rise. […]

  • Reconstruction of underwater avalanche sheds light on geohazards that threaten underwater...
    on July 5, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Researchers have reconstructed the 1929 Grand Banks underwater avalanche to better understand these common geohazards, which threaten critical seafloor infrastructure. […]

  • New study explains Antarctica's coldest temperatures
    on June 25, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Tiny valleys near the top of Antarctica's ice sheet reach temperatures of nearly -100 degrees Celsius, according to a new study. The finding could change scientists' understanding of just how low temperatures can get at Earth's surface, and how it happens, according to the researchers. […]

  • How snowshoe hares evolved to stay seasonally camouflaged
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Many animals have evolved fur or feather colors to blend in with the environment and hide from predators. But how do animals stay camouflaged when their environment changes with each new season? For snowshoe hares, hybridization plays an important role in their ability to match their environment, new research shows. […]

  • Antarctic ice sheet is melting, but rising bedrock below could slow it down
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    An international team of researchers has found that the bedrock below the remote West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much more rapidly than previously thought, in response to ongoing ice melt. […]

  • New model for gauging ice sheet movement may improve sea-level-rise predictions
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Researchers discovered friction -- or 'basal drag' -- between ice sheets and the hard bed underneath has no influence on how fast glaciers flow. […]

  • Land-based portion of massive East Antarctic ice sheet retreated little during past eight million...
    on June 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Large parts of the massive East Antarctic Ice Sheet did not retreat significantly during a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were similar to today's levels. […]

  • Why the tongue of the Pine Island Glacier suddenly shrank
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    The Pine Island Glacier in Western Antarctica is not only one of the fastest-flowing ice streams in the Southern Hemisphere; over the past 11 years, four major icebergs have calved from its floating tongue. […]

  • Leading Antarctic experts offer two possible views of continent's future
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:38 am

    The next 10 years will be critical for the future of Antarctica, and choices made will have long-lasting consequences, says an international group of Antarctic research scientists. It lays out two different plausible future scenarios for the continent and its Southern Ocean over the next 50 years. […]

  • What saved the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 10,000 years ago will not save it today
    on June 14, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    The retreat of the West Antarctic ice masses after the last Ice Age was reversed surprisingly about 10,000 years ago, scientists found. The reason for the rebound is that, relieved from the weight of the retreating ice, the Earth crust lifted. This made the ice re-advance towards the ocean. Unfortunately, this mechanism is much to slow to prevent dangerous sea-level rise caused by West Antarctica's ice-loss in the present and near future. […]

  • Ocean waves following sea ice loss trigger Antarctic ice shelf collapse
    on June 14, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Storm-driven ocean swells have triggered the catastrophic disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves in recent decades, according to new research published in Nature today. […]

  • Decades of satellite monitoring reveal Antarctic ice loss
    on June 13, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Scientists have reviewed decades of satellite measurements to reveal how and why Antarctica's glaciers, ice shelves and sea ice are changing. Their report explains how ice shelf thinning and collapse have triggered an increase in the continent's contribution to sea level rise. […]

  • Antarctica ramps up sea level rise
    on June 13, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Ice losses from Antarctica have increased global sea levels by 7.6 mm since 1992, with two fifths of this rise (3.0 mm) coming in the last five years alone. The findings are from a major climate assessment known as the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE). It is the most complete picture of Antarctic ice sheet change to date -- 84 scientists from 44 international organizations combined 24 satellite surveys to produce the assessment. […]

  • Climate change accelerating rise in sea levels
    on June 13, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    A new study has discovered that rising sea levels could be accelerated by vulnerable ice shelves in the Antarctic. […]

  • Researchers investigate the correlation between wind and wave height in the Arctic Ocean
    on June 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    An international research team has found an increase in high waves and winds in the ice-free waters of the Arctic Ocean, a potentially dangerous navigational tipping point for the 'new and unusual' state of the waters. […]

  • Secret life of an enigmatic Antarctic apex predator
    on June 5, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Scientists have, for the first time, tracked the lives of leopard seals as they migrate around Antarctica. The team followed these formidable predators as they move from the frozen Antarctic sea-ice to the more northerly sub-Antarctic islands where they prey on penguins, seals and krill. […]

  • Ancient Greenland was much warmer than previously thought
    on June 4, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Although researchers have long known that the last two interglacial periods experienced warming in the Arctic due to changes in the Earth's orbit, a mix of fly species preserved from these times in a rare lake sediment core shows that Greenland was even warmer than previously thought. This information could help researchers better gauge Greenland's sensitivity to warming, by testing and improving models of climate and ice sheet behavior. […]

  • For the past 70 years, the Danube has almost never frozen over
    on May 24, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Since the 1950s, warmer and warmer winters and man-made inflows have largely prevented ice formation on Europe's second-largest river. […]

  • Major shifts in global freshwater
    on May 16, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    A new global, satellite-based study of Earth's freshwater found that Earth's wet areas are getting wetter, while dry areas are getting drier. The data suggest this pattern is due to many factors, including human water management practices, human-caused climate change and natural climate cycles. […]

  • Antarctic seals can help predict ice sheet melt
    on May 15, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Two species of seal found in Antarctic seas are helping scientists collect data about the temperature and salinity of waters around vulnerable ice sheets in West Antarctica. Understanding more about how this water gets towards the ice shelves by measuring its temperature, salinity and depth, will help climate change modellers make more accurate predictions about how rapidly the Antarctic ice sheet is melting. […]

  • Ice stream draining Greenland Ice Sheet sensitive to changes over past 45,000 years
    on May 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    A ribbon of ice more than 600 kilometers long that drains about 12 percent of the gigantic Greenland Ice Sheet has been smaller than it is today about half of the time over the past 45,000 years, a new study suggests. […]

  • The slipperiness of ice explained
    on May 9, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Everybody knows that sliding on ice or snow, is much easier than sliding on most other surfaces. But why is the ice surface slippery? Researchers have now shown that the slipperiness of ice is a consequence of the ease with which the topmost water molecules can roll over the ice surface. […]

  • Measuring snow persistence can help predict streamflow
    on May 7, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    A team of researchers found that snow persistence can be used to map patterns of annual streamflow in dry parts of the western United States. […]

  • 'Hairdryer wind' melts snow in Antarctica in winter as well
    on May 2, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Even though the sun does not shine in Antarctica in winter, in some places snow on the glaciers can melt. The cause: warm wind. Utrecht glacier researchers discovered that fact by combining the results of weather stations and satellite images. […]

  • Physics of a glacial 'slushy' reveal granular forces on a massive scale
    on April 30, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    New findings describe the dynamics of the clog of icebergs -- known as an ice mélange -- in front of Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier. The fast-moving glacier is considered a bellwether for the effects of climate change. […]