COP27 Cryosphere Pavilion – November 6-19, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

Welcome to this last “regular” Cryosphere Capsules edition prior to the beginning of COP27 this Sunday, November 6; and running through November 18. The Capsules actually began as a daily preview of the program for the next day’s events and livestreams from the COP25 Cryosphere Pavilion in Madrid, Spain in December 2019. For approximately the […]

Permafrost Thaw Increases Risk and Large Future Costs of Infrastructure on the Third Pole

Communications Earth & Environment, 13 October 2022 Limiting warming below 1.5°C instead of 2°C could reduce the costs of infrastructure damage from permafrost thaw in the Tibetan Plateau by $1.32 billion before the end of the century. Over the past several decades, the Tibetan Plateau has warmed two times faster than the global average, increasing […]

Ice Sheets Rapidly Expelling Meltwater Can Produce Deep Underwater Valleys on Human Timescales

Quaternary Science Reviews, 5 October 2022 During the warm period at the end of the last ice age (20,000 years ago), a massive ice sheet over the North Sea melted fast enough to carve out enormous valleys in the ocean floor within several hundred years, much faster than previously thought. Ice sheets typically grow and […]

Geneva-Hosted COP-26 Hub Event: “Mountain Water Resources in a Changing Climate”

Released as an online-only event from the Geneva Hub, this session discusses the importance of revising water governance strategies to avoid conflicts of interest between various water-dependent economic actors. As temperatures rise and glaciers retreat across the world, many rivers originating in currently glaciated mountains will see major changes in the quantity and timing of […]

Unprecedented and Extreme Surface Melt of Greenland in September

News Briefing: NSIDC Greenland Ice Sheet Today, September 2022 An early September heat wave swept across Greenland during the first week of September, causing a melt event unprecedented in the satellite record, with more than one-third of the ice sheet (600,000 square kilometers) experiencing surface melting. Such spikes in surface melt are primarily seen in […]

Arctic Ocean Acidifying Three to Four Times Faster Than Other Oceans

Science, 29 September 2022 Rapid loss of Arctic sea ice over the past three decades has accelerated the rate of long-term acidification in the Arctic Ocean, at rates three to four times those occurring in lower latitude oceans. When sea ice melts, it creates a layer of freshwater along the surface of the ocean that […]

Atmospheric Warming Combined with Meltwater Increases Ocean Melting of Greenland Glaciers

Nature Geoscience, 3 October 2022 While it was previously thought that ocean temperatures were the primary cause of melting along the ocean-based edges of the Greenland ice Sheet, new research suggests that atmospheric warming is equally important in this underwater melting, through the effects of meltwater running off the surface. Rising air temperatures increase melting […]

Geneva-Hosted COP-26 Hub Event: “Upscaling adaptation solutions for vulnerable mountain regions through international cooperation”

Released as an online-only event from the Geneva Hub, this session discussed the potential barriers to uptake as well as the possible enablers to applying solutions to adapt to climate change in mountain regions. Speakers emphasized social vulnerability and the facilitating role of international organizations to tackle cryosphere-related disasters. They also introduced the teaser trailer […]

Focus Days Schedule for the COP7 Cryosphere Pavilion

30 September 2022 Dear Cryosphere Capsule readers: We are happy to share the Focus Days schedule for the COP27 Cryosphere Pavilion! Each day will include up to seven side events, focused on the latest cryosphere science; the implications of these findings for climate urgency and ambition; and looking also at model low emissions pathways and […]

New Satellite Technology Gives Reliable Year-Round Measurements for Arctic Sea Ice Thickness

Nature, 14 September 2022 For the first time, researchers can precisely monitor the thickness of sea ice during every month of the year – even in the summer melt period, which will improve navigation and safety across the Arctic. Previous measurements of sea ice thickness were unavailable during summer as satellite struggled to differentiate between […]