Category Archives: Latest Research

Urgent Need to Include Permafrost and Wildfire Feedbacks in Global Carbon Budgets

PNAS, May 17 Today, carbon emissions (both CO2 and methane) from abrupt permafrost thaw and Arctic wildfires still are not fully included within global emissions budgets and modelling. Ignoring such feedbacks, which both directly result from rapid warming of the Arctic region, and intensify that warming further, causes governments to overestimate the remaining carbon budget. […]

Origins of the Chamoli, India Landslide/Ice Slide Disaster

Science, June 10 In February 2021, a catastrophic flood caused widespread loss and damage in Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India. A new study, co-authored by more than 50 scientists, shows that 27 million m3 of material – 11X the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza – consisting of rocks and ice avalanched down the valley, 1800 […]

Even Between 1.0°C and 2°C, Every Half Degree Matters for the Alps

The Cryosphere, June 15 This study used the new climate models prepared for IPCC AR6 to compare Alps glacier ice loss at 1°C, 1.5°C and 2°C of warming above pre-industrial, and found stark differences with each half a degree increase. By 2100, at 2°C glaciers in the European Alps are projected to lose more than […]

Destabilization of Ice Sheets a Primary Initiator of Climate Domino Effects

Earth System Dynamics, June 3 The Greenland Ice Sheet, West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Amazon rainforest, and the largest ocean circulation systems can undergo large and potentially irreversible changes once human-caused or natural factors cause certain critical temperatures to be exceeded. These so-called tipping points risk affecting the stability of the entire climate system, and that […]

Arctic Sea Ice Thinning Up to Twice as Much as Previously Estimated

The Cryosphere, June 4 Between 2002 and 2018, sea ice in the Arctic thinned 60 percent more than previously estimated. In particular, the coastal area of the Chukchi Seas, just above Alaska and the Kamchatka Peninsula, thinned over twice as much as past calculations have shown. Sea ice extent, or area can easily be measured […]

Melting from Under Greenland’s Ice Sheet Also Contributes to Sea-Level Rise

Nature Communications, June 8 Although most ice loss from Greenland comes from either surface melting, or icebergs breaking from outlet glaciers; a significant amount apparently is coming from melting occurring at the very bottom of the ice sheet, where it rests against bedrock. Some of this so-called “basal melting” occurs due to heat from geo-thermal […]

Permafrost Underlies 15% of the Northern Hemisphere’s Land Surface

Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth’s Surface, April 23 More than 80% of studies reporting on permafrost area overestimate the baseline extent of permafrost underneath Earth’s surface, claiming that permafrost underlies a quarter (22%) of the Northern Hemisphere. Such overstatements give the impression that there is 6 million km2 more permafrost than currently estimated. In reality, […]

Widespread Destabilization of Arctic Infrastructure as Permafrost Thaw Increases

The Cryosphere, May 31 The presence of infrastructure built on permafrost ground in the Arctic causes increased snow accumulation, and then ponding and standing water when the snow melts. This increases regional soil temperatures, deepening permafrost thaw; and puts infrastructure at risk of failure. Under strong future warming and high-emission scenarios, gravel roads such as […]