Category Archives: Latest Research

WAIS Collapse Not Prevented by Earth Surface Rebound Under High Emissions

Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, June 18 When an ice sheet loses mass, the pressure it exerts on the underlying Earth surface decreases, leading to a gradual bedrock uplift and an elevation gain that could potentially help stabilize the Antarctic ice sheet, slowing loss and related sea-level rise. In particular, the fast uplift rates […]

Floating River Ice Channels Correspond to Sections of Thawing Riverbed Permafrost

Frontiers Earth Science, July 6 The ice resting on top of unfrozen river water – known as “floating” or “serpentine” ice – tends to form in the deeper sections of river channels with thawed riverbed sediment. Conversely, when river water freezes all the way down to the river bottom, the ice stretches out and covers […]

Loss of Barents-Kara Sea Ice in Arctic May Cause Higher Eurasian Warming in Winter

Geophysical Research Letters, June 16 Winter sea ice loss in the Barents-Kara seas, north of Norway and western Siberia, causes local warming in the Arctic and also produces accompanying changes in atmospheric circulation. When ice loss is moderate, this leads to lower temperatures over Eurasia. However, once sea ice loss is sufficiently large and surpasses […]

Loss of Glacier Mass in Recent Years Across All of High Mountain Asia

Nature Communications, July 5 This satellite study confirms that the rate of glacier ice loss has substantially increased in seven climatically different regions, spread across the entirety of Central Asia, since the 1960s. Ice loss rates have more than doubled in the Northern Tien Shan during this time period, and have accelerated nearly as much […]

Increase in Subsurface Lakes Under the Greenland Ice Sheet

The Cryosphere, June 29 Across the entire Greenland Ice Sheet, the extent of meltwater reservoirs hidden underneath layers of packed snow and ice increased by 56% from 2018 to 2019. This increase in “buried” lakes was caused by prolonged summer surface melt in conjunction with unusually high temperatures during the autumn. In the southwest region […]

Underwater Landslides Triggered by Iceberg Collisions with the Seafloor

Nature Geoscience, June 24 Icebergs originating from the Arctic, Greenland, and Antarctica may cause hazards thousands of kilometers away from their original source by triggering underwater landslides. Four years ago, the bottom edge of an Arctic iceberg scraped against the seafloor, tipped sideways, and broke into two pieces in the Southwind Fjord of Baffin Island. […]

Decline in Permafrost Threatens the Stability of Microbial Ecosystems in Himalayas

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 22 The thawing of permafrost has destabilized bacterial and fungal networks in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, reducing their connectedness and complexity by exposing them to harsh high-altitude environmental conditions. While higher temperatures normally stimulate microbial growth, temperature increases that induce permafrost degradation reduce water, oxygen, and nutrient availability […]

Arctic “Last Ice Area” Less Resilient to Warming than Previously Estimated

Nature Communications, July 1 Record low sea ice was observed in summer 2020 in the Wandel Sea, just north of Greenland. This region is the easternmost sector of the so-called “Last Ice Area,” known for its old, thick, multi-year sea ice. Climate model simulations did not predict low sea ice concentration in this area until […]

Risk of Marine Ice Cliff Collapse Depends on Upstream Ice Thickness, Flow Rates and Sea Ice Debris

Science, June 18 The Thwaites Glacier of West Antarctica, draining an area the size of France is one of the most vulnerable glaciers to marine ice cliff collapse because it rests nearly entirely on deep seabed. As upstream regions of the glacier rapidly increase in thickness, the edge of the glacier can collapse under its […]

Widespread Acceleration of Mass Loss From Glaciers in Northwest and Central-West Greenland

The Cryosphere Discussions, June 18 New analyses of satellite images reveal that in the past 50 years, the majority of marine-terminating glaciers in northwestern and central-west Greenland retreated and lost area, with a clear acceleration of loss beginning in 1996. Between 2000 and 2020, 86% of the glaciers studied retreated. The retreat and acceleration of […]