Snow and Avalanches

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  • Retracing Antarctica's glacial past
    on September 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    More than 26,000 years ago, sea level was much lower than it is today partly because the ice sheets that jut out from the continent of Antarctica were enormous and covered by grounded ice -- ice that was fully attached to the seafloor. As the planet warmed, the ice sheets melted and contracted, and sea level began to rise. Researchers have discovered new information that illuminates how and when this global phenomenon occurred. […]

  • Extra Arctic observations can improve predictability of tropical cyclones
    on September 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Scientists have found that additional weather observations in the Arctic can help predict the track and intensity of tropical and mid-latitude cyclones more accurately, improving weather forecasting of extreme weather events. […]

  • Glacial engineering could limit sea-level rise, if we get our emissions under control
    on September 20, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Targeted engineering projects to hold off glacier melting could slow down ice-sheet collapse and limit sea-level rise, according to a new study. While an intervention similar in size to existing large civil engineering projects could only have a 30 percent chance of success, a larger project would have better odds of holding off ice-sheet collapse. But the researchers caution that reducing emissions still remains key to stopping climate change and its dramatic effects. […]

  • Scientists identify three causes of Earth's spin axis drift
    on September 19, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Using observational and model-based data spanning the entire 20th century, scientists have for the first time have identified three broadly-categorized processes responsible for Earth's spin axis drift -- contemporary mass loss primarily in Greenland, glacial rebound, and mantle convection. […]

  • Unprecedented ice loss in Russian ice cap
    on September 19, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    In the last few years, the Vavilov Ice Cap in the Russian High Arctic has dramatically accelerated, sliding as much as 82 feet a day in 2015, according to a new multi-national, multi-institute study. That dwarfs the ice's previous average speed of about 2 inches per day and has challenged scientists' assumptions about the stability of the cold ice caps dotting Earth's high latitudes. […]

  • Moderate warming could melt East Antarctic Ice Sheet
    on September 19, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Parts of the world's largest ice sheet would melt if Antarctic warming of just 2°C is sustained for millennia, according to international research. Scientists used evidence from warm periods in Earth's history to see how the East Antarctic Ice Sheet might react to a warming climate. […]

  • Volcano under ice sheet suggests thickening of West Antarctic ice is short-term
    on September 6, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Evidence left by a volcano under the ice sheet suggests that the observed bulging of ice in West Antarctica is a short-term feature that may not affect the glacier's motion over the long term. […]

  • California: Global warming, El Niño could cause wetter winters, drier conditions in other months
    on September 4, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    New research indicates that what future precipitation California gets will be pretty much limited to the winter months -- think deluge-type rainfall rather than snow -- and non-winter months will be even dryer than usual, with little or no rain at all. […]

  • New way to see dirty underside of glaciers
    on September 4, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Accurate projections of sea level rise require sophisticated models for glacier flow, but current approaches do a poor job capturing the physical processes that control how fast glaciers slide over sediments, according to researchers. In a new study, they've proposed a theoretical approach that sheds light on the dirty, dark undersides of glaciers and improve the modeling of ice flow. […]

  • 'Archived' heat has reached deep into the Arctic interior, researchers say
    on August 29, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Arctic sea ice isn't just threatened by the melting of ice around its edges, a new study has found: Warmer water that originated hundreds of miles away has penetrated deep into the interior of the Arctic. […]

  • New Antarctic rift data has implications for volcanic evolution
    on August 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    New marine geophysical data recorded during two excursions on a French icebreaker enabled researchers to date the ocean floor and calculate the relative motion between the Antarctic Plates and the Australian Plate. This new data revealed that Antarctica fused into one plate around 11 million years ago, roughly 15 million years later than previously assumed. […]

  • Melt-rate of West Antarctic Ice Sheet highly sensitive to changes in ocean temperatures
    on August 13, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Melting of ice shelves in West Antarctica speeds up and slows down in response to changes in deep ocean temperature, and is far more variable than previously thought, according to new research. […]

  • Ice sheets of the last ice age seeded the ocean with essential nutrient silica
    on August 10, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    New research led by glaciologists and isotope geochemists has found that melting ice sheets provide the surrounding oceans with the essential nutrient silica. […]

  • Pacific Ocean's effect on Arctic warming
    on August 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    New research shows that changes in the heat flow of the northern Pacific Ocean may have a larger effect on the Arctic climate than previously thought. […]

  • Rain-on-snow flood risk to increase in many mountain regions of the western U.S., Canada
    on August 6, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Flooding caused by rain falling on snowpack could more than double by the end of this century in some areas of the western United States and Canada due to climate change. […]

  • The fate of Arctic mosquitoes depends on habitat and access to blood meals
    on August 3, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    The future of Arctic mosquitoes (Aedes nigripes) in western Greenland depends on aquatic habitat and access to blood meals, according to a new study. The study found that female mosquitoes carrying eggs were most abundant near ponds, especially in areas frequented by animals such as caribou, birds and the Arctic hare. […]

  • The subtle mechanics of an avalanche -- as seen in 3D
    on August 3, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Drawing on the fact that the snow in an avalanche can behave like both a solid and a fluid, a researcher has managed to simulate a snow slab avalanche with unrivaled precision. […]

  • Deglacial changes in western Atlantic Ocean circulation
    on July 28, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    A new study carried out by an international team of researchers, using the chemistry of ocean sediments has highlighted a widespread picture of Atlantic circulation changes associated with rapid climate change in the past. […]

  • Glaciers in East Antarctica also 'imperiled' by climate change
    on July 26, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Scientists have found evidence of significant mass loss in East Antarctica's Totten and Moscow University glaciers, which, if they fully collapsed, could add 5 meters (16.4 feet) to the global sea level. […]

  • 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. […]