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You are browsing the archive for glacier climate change Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

5 May 2022

Alpine Glacier Incompatibality with Heat Waves

Heat waves and glaciers don’t usually go together; however, in the last several years an increasing number of heat waves have affected alpine glacier regions around the world.  This is true from Arctic Canada to the Himalayas from the Andes to Alaska. Here we review a number of these heat waves from 2018-2022, that I have been involved with assessing and observing. In particular heat waves leave a greater portion …

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18 April 2022

A 50-year Project on Columbia Glacier Annual Monitoring 1984-2022, 39 Years In

1984-Landsat 5 is launched. The North Cascade Glacier Climate Project was initiated on Earth Day in 1984 with a goal of observing the impact of climate change on glaciers across this mountain range for 50 years. This was in response to a call to action by the National Academy of Sciences to have a project that monitored glaciers across an entire mountain range in the United States, and from climate …

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28 September 2021

Kokanee Glacier 2021: slash and burn

By Ben Pelto, PhD, UBC Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Research Fellow Since 2013 I have been working on the Kokanee Glacier. Located just outside of Nelson in southeastern British Columbia (BC), the Kokanee Glacier is due north of the Washington-Idaho border. This work began as part of a five-year study of the cryosphere in the Canadian portion of the Columbia River. This project was carried out by the Canadian Columbia River …

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29 August 2021

Whitney Glacier , Mount Shasta Losing all of its Snowcover and Separating in 2021

Sentinel 2 False and True Color images from 8-25-2021.  Yellow arrows indicate where glacier is separating and blue arrows the small remanent of 2021 snowpack remaining. This remanent will not last to the end of the melt season.  The summer of 2021 is proving to be catastrophic for Whitney Glacier on Mount Shasta, California in terms of volume loss, ~15-20% this year leading to long term impacts, adding to the …

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13 April 2021

Benito Glacier, Chile 2021 Calving Event Drives Further Retreat

  Benito Glacier in 2000 and 2021 Landsat images. Locations 1-6 are current or former distributary terminus locations. Red arrow is the 2000 terminus location and yellow arrow the 2021 terminus location.  A small cloud is obscuring an iceberg near terminus.  Purple dots are the snowline. Benito Glacier is a temperate outlet glacier on the west side of the North Patagonian Icefield terminating in an expanding lake. The glacier is …

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14 September 2020

Leningradskiy Ice Cap Snowcover Vanishes in 2020 More Thinning, Svernaya Zemlya

Leningradskiy Ice Cap  north to south strip in 2000 and 2020 Landsat images illustrating thinning leading to separation of parts of the ice cap at Point 1 and 4 and expansion of bedrock leading to merging bedrock regions at Point 1 and 2. R=snow/firnpack saturated with meltwater and consequent potential refreezing. S=superimposed ice development from surface refreezing. Leningradskiy Ice Cap is oriented east to west across Bolshevik Island in the …

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31 August 2020

North Cascade Glacier Climate Project Observations 2020, 37th Field Season

The North Cascade Glacier Climate Project 2020 field season was our 37th consecutive year of glacier observations.  The field team consisted of Cal Waichler, Mariama Dryak, Jill Pelto and Mauri Pelto.  Each team member has studied glaciers on more than one continent and is passionate about science communication, using either art, videography or writing. Mauri Pelto, Jill Pelto, Cal Waichler and Mariama Dryak from left to right on Easton Glacier …

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28 July 2020

NORTH CASCADE GLACIER CLIMATE PROJECT 2020-37th Annual Field Program

Field season images from 2019 indicating crevasse stratigraphy, annotated by Clara Deck. Director: Mauri S. Pelto, [email protected] College Field Artist & Scientist: Jill Pelto, [email protected] Who we are? NCGCP was founded in 1983 to identify the response of North Cascade glaciers to regional climate change, particularly changes in mass balance, glacier runoff and terminus behavior.   NCGCP is a field project that has a broader interdisciplinary scope and examines more glaciers than any …

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2 July 2020

Global Glacier Change Bulletin 3 (WGMS) Reports Increasing Mass Balance Losses

Figure 1. Regionalized mean annual mass balance of WGMS reference glaciers 1980-2018, with 2019 being a mean of reference glaciers. Glaciers have been studied as sensitive indicators of climate for more than a century and are now experiencing a historically unprecedented decline (Zemp et al, 2015).  Glacier fluctuations in terminus position, mass balance and area are recognized as one of the most reliable indicators of climate change. This led to …

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12 September 2019

Glacier Crevasses As A learning Tool

Guest Post by Clara Deck Instagram: @scienceisntsoscary   Crevasses on mountain glaciers are large cracks in the ice which often propagate from the surface downward. The initial break will happen when stress exceeds the inherent ice material strength. This article will focus on surface crevasses, though this basic physical understanding also applies to basal crevasses or large-scale rifts in ice sheet and shelf settings.   In mountain glacier systems, crevassing …

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14 June 2019

Varied Snowcover Extent Diagnostic of Glacier NP Glacier Climate Response

Snowcover extent in Landsat images from August, 1998 and 2018. S=Sperry, H=Harrison, J=Jackson, B=Blackfoot and P=Pumpelly Five of the eight largest glaciers in Glacier National Park are clustered in a small area: Jackson Glacier, Sperry Glacier, Pumpelly Glacier, Harrison Glacier, and Blackfoot Glacier. The USGS in Glacier National Park has over the last 15 years maintained an extensive glacier monitoring program led by Dan Fagre.  This program has led to consistent …

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9 January 2019

Drogpa Nagtsang Glacier, China Mass Balance Loss, Separation, Slow Down

Drogpa Nagtsang Glacier change in Landsat image from 1989 and 2018.  Yellow arrow indicates 2018 terminus location, red arrow 1989 terminus location, red dot the lowest elevation of clean glacier ice. Points A-E are the same locations for comparison. Drogpa Nagtsang Glacier, China is a glacier that is 30 km west of Mount Everest that terminates in an expanding proglacial lake. The glacier begins on the Nepal border at 6400 …

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19 November 2018

35th Annual Field Observations of North Cascade Glaciers

The 2018 field season observations, conditions and summary. Field team Mariama Dryak, Erin McConnell, Jill Pelto and Mauri Pelto. For the 35th consecutive year I headed to the North Cascade Range, Washington to monitor the response of glaciers to climate change.  Two of the glaciers the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project (NCGCP) monitors are now part of the 42 glaciers comprising the World Glacier Monitoring Service  (WGMS) reference glacier network, …

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29 August 2018

Major Late July Meltdown on Lowell Glacier, Yukon

Lowell Glacier in Landsat images from 7/4, 7/26 and 8/11 with Sentinel images from 7/22 .  The snowline is shown with purple dots. Point A-F are fixed reference locations.  The snowline migrated upglacier 20 km and 300 m in elevation.  A significant snow swamp is between the yellow and purple dots on 7/26, that was not present on 7/22.  The Lowell Glacier drains east from the St.Elias Range on the …

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1 August 2018

Alpine Glacier-BAMS State of the Climate 2017

Global alpine glacier annual mass balance record of reference glaciers submitted to the World Glacier Monitoring Service, with 2017 continuing the trend of significant negative mass balance.  The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society: State of the Climate 2017 has been published.  Since 2008 I have written the chapter on alpine glaciers. The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS)record of mass balance and terminus behavior (WGMS 2017) provides a global index …

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27 April 2018

How Unusual Was 2015 in the 1984–2015 Period of the North Cascade Glacier Annual Mass Balance?

Sholes Glacier during the first week of August 2015 versus and average year such as in 2017.  Note stream gage and weather station at this site. The greater extent of bare ice enhances ablation as for a given temperature there is a higher ablation rate for ice then snow. Columbia Glacier a WGMS reference glacier viewed from above the glacier at Monte Cristo Pass at the start of August in 2015 …

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2 March 2018

Lower Curtis Glacier Annual Terminus Response to Climate Change

Side view of Lower Curtis Glacier in 2013, 2015 and 2017, illustrating the reduced slope and height of glacier front in just four years. Terminus observations have been reported to the WGMS from 2500 glaciers with 46,500 specific observations since the late 19th century, which you can explore with the glacier viewer application. Here we examine what it looks like to report from a glacier each year.  I have visited this …

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14 December 2017

From a Glaciologists Perspective AGU Day 3

Snapshot of day 3  of Glaciology poster presentations at AGU.  The amount of glaciology research is impressive, there is much we do not know.  We can no longer say that we know very little about any aspect or region.  Before saying that explore the vast literature that is now available. Jeff La Freniere at Gustavus Adolphus College used several new technologies,  aerial and terrestrial LIDAR and structure-from-motion photogrammetry from drones …

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12 December 2017

From a Glaciologists Perspective AGU Day 2

It has been 30 years since my first experience at the AGU, at that time glaciology and the cryosphere played a small role.  Today that is clearly not the case.  Today just a glimpse of a few of the many interesting glaciers studies are provided to again illustrate the vast array and amazing detail of work being conducted. Samiah Mustafa, Brown University presented research looking at the ability of a …

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11 December 2017

From a Glaciologists Perspective AGU Day 1

The theme changes from a glaciers to a glaciologists perspective with a focus on selected work at the AGU 2017. The research discussed here is from the Poster Paper sessions the most interactive part of the convention.  The following are some interesting snapshots of the breadth and depth of ongoing research.  The most compelling figure from each poster is used. Richard Forster, U of Utah team presented work on the …

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