COP-26 Video of the Week: “Needed Emissions Reductions and 50×30 Analyses” with Joeri Rogelj and Ryan Wilson

The IPCC has made it clear that 50% emissions reductions must occur globally by 2030 to remain close to 1.5°C of warming; and prevent cascading and irreversible damage, on a planetary scale, from the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the cryosphere. As the above papers make clear, overshoot of the 1.5°C limit cannot be […]

Arctic Warming Four Times Faster Than the Rest of the World

Communications Earth & Environment, 11 August 2022 Climate models typically estimate that the Arctic is warming 2.5 times faster than the global average, but decades of observational records now suggest that the true rate of “Arctic amplification” is nearly double these estimations. The Arctic warms faster than any other region on Earth due to Arctic […]

East Antarctica Far More Vulnerable to High Emissions: Could Add Up to Five Meters Sea-Level Rise by 2300

Nature, 10 August 2022 Under a high-emissions scenario, ice loss could accelerate across the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and generate several meters of sea-level rise within just a few centuries; but this substantial loss could be avoided if temperatures remain within the “well below 2°C” limit of the Paris Agreement. This comprehensive review study found […]

COP-26 Video of the Week: “Indigenous Knowledge and Cryosphere Science” with Tiana Carter, Penehuro Lefale, and Kelly Moneymaker

Arctic and Mountain indigenous peoples have intimate knowledge of the regions in which they live and the ongoing impacts of climate change; but rarely are included in published research. This session proposes ways in which this gap can be addressed, and features the world premiere of a documentary on the connection between indigenous knowledge and […]

Rapid Glacier Melting Produces Devastating Landslides Across the World

News Briefing: 19 July 2022 Over the past decade, dozens of major high-mountain slopes around the world have partially collapsed due to accelerated ice loss, with major landslides occurring more frequently. In Alaska, unusually warm summers have triggered intense glacier melt, destabilizing sediments on rocky slopes that escalated into debris flows and tsunamis that hit […]

Arctic Sea Ice More Sensitive to Wildfires in Western US

Science Advances, 27 July 2022 Several decades ago, an extended period with abnormally few “controlled burning” fires in the United States — resulting in greater wildfires — accelerated sea ice loss in the Arctic, unveiling a new dimension to the interconnected relationship between wildfires and sea ice. Controlled burning, the setting of planned fires to […]

Webinars Aug 9 & 10: Cryosphere in the UNFCCC and COP27 Cryosphere Pavilion

On Tuesday, August 9 at 13:00 Central European time (CEST) and Wednesday, August 10 at 1PM Eastern Time (EDT), ICCI will host an informational webinar on cryosphere-related efforts within the UNFCCC processes including COP27; and provide information about the COP27 Cryosphere Pavilion, potential side events and our Early Career Scientist volunteer program. Presentations will be […]

COP-26 Video of the Week: “The Arctic, the Fastest-Warming Region on Earth: New Science Findings from AMAP” with Benjamin DeAngelo, Rolf Rødven, and Jason Box

Surface temperatures in the Arctic are more than three times higher than the global average. The communities, ecosystems, and species living in this region already experience accelerating impacts from climate change, especially those associated with extreme events. This session from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), a working group of the Arctic Council amplifies […]

Extreme Heat Accelerates Ice Loss and Drives Intense Melting From the Greenland Ice Sheet

News Briefing: 20 July 2022 Temperatures in northern Greenland are running 5-7°C (10°F) warmer than normal for this time of year; and last week, three consecutive days of extremely high temperatures triggered rapid melting in this region, which normally stays below freezing even in much of the summer. Between July 15 and 17, the Greenland […]

Extensive Snow Loss Increases Greenland’s Vulnerability to Cloud-Free Days

Nature Communications, 21 July 2022 Under a high-emissions scenario, ice loss driven by the absorption of heat from the sun could increase by one third across the Greenland Ice Sheet before the end of the century. Clouds act as a shield; they help prevent shortwave and longwave radiation reaching the ground. As global temperatures rise, […]

Warming Permafrost Increases Frequency of Devastating Landslides in Greenland

Springer Science: Landslides, 23 July 2022 Permafrost also exists on Greenland; and rising global temperatures have accelerated its thaw, increasing the vulnerability of coastal mountain regions to unpredictable landslides and collapse. The melting of this frozen ground can open deep fractures in rocky cliffs. These expanding fractures allow rainfall and snowmelt to trickle into the […]

COP26 Video of the Week: “Ministerial Dialogue to Scale Up Investment in Mountain Specific Climate Priorities” with ICIMOD

This session introduces “Mountains of Opportunity,” a new approach to scale up investment in mountain-specific climate priorities across the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region by ICIMOD (the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development). This effort aims to help vulnerable communities mobilize resources in the face of snow and ice loss driven by rising global temperatures. […]

Higher Temperatures Increase Glacier Retreat and Quadruple the Number of Floods in Pakistan

News Briefing: 14 July 2022 More than thirty glacial lakes in the Himalaya, Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountains of Pakistan are at risk of bursting and releasing several million cubic meters of water and debris. In May, a devastating glacial lake outburst flood rushed through the village of Hassanabad in Pakistan and swept away nearly […]

European Heatwaves Increase the Risk of Devastating Avalanches Across the Alps

News Briefing: 19 July 2022 Glaciologists are monitoring a new crack on the Marmolada Glacier that partially collapsed earlier this month, intensifying concerns that such unpredictable threats could become more frequent and widespread as heatwaves intensified this week across Europe. During the beginning of July, an ice shelf broke away from the Marmolada, producing an […]

Decline in Rocky Mountain Snowpack Threatens Future Water Resources in Western U.S.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 18 July 2022 Under a high emissions scenario, 80% of the water contained within the winter snowpack across the Rocky Mountains could disappear by the end of the century. Mountain snowpack is a natural reservoir of freshwater. As it melts throughout the spring and summer, it provides a […]

Previous Landslides Can Triple the Intensity of Glacial Lake Floods

Scientific Reports, 20 July 2022 Even small glacial lake outburst floods in the mountains can transform into huge debris flows, sweeping boulders across large regions as loose sediment triggers additional landslides. This study found that such debris flows can worsen the loss and damage caused by future such floods. Melting glaciers generate large meltwater lakes […]

COP26 Video of the Week: “Cryosphere Science and Adaptation Solutions to Scale Up Climate Action in the Hindu Kush Himalaya” with ICIMOD

This session focuses on high-impact solutions that can deliver climate action in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region at the speed and scale necessary to face threats from glacier loss; and suggests opportunities to strengthen the resilience of mountain communities and economies. Organized by ICIMOD, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the event took […]

Rising Temperatures Jeopardize Hydropower Systems Across High Mountain Asia

Nature Geoscience, 23 June 2022 The accelerated retreat of glaciers in the Himalayas and other high mountain regions of Asia is posing deadly risks to local communities, destabilizing the landscape and threatening to overwhelm numerous hydropower projects. As temperatures rise further, the snow and ice resources in high-altitude regions experience warming two to three times […]

Decline in Ozone Over the Arctic Intensifies Drought Conditions in Europe and Eurasia

Nature Geoscience, 7 July 2022 Increasing emissions of ozone-depleting substances has weakened the ozone layer over the Arctic, contributing to extreme weather anomalies across the entire Northern Hemisphere. Ozone serves as a protective barrier in the high atmosphere, absorbing harmful radiation from the sun. As emissions rise, the ozone layer thins above the Arctic. The […]

Decreased Snow Cover in the Alps Threatens Europe’s Water Supplies

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21 June 2022 Rising temperatures from continued high CO2 emissions may cut in half the number of days the Alps are covered in snow by the end of the century, jeopardizing seasonal water supplies for millions across much of Europe. The disappearance of the snow cover would be particularly harmful […]