Loss of Snow Cover on Svalbard Glaciers Accelerated Loss Since the mid-1980s.

Nature Communications, September 14 Most of Svalbard’s glaciers and ice caps have lost the porous snow layer that previously protected them from yearly temperature fluctuations. This snow layer was lost below a critical altitude of 450 meters already in the 1980s, which rendered 60% of Svalbard’s ice highly vulnerable to further warming; starting a period […]

Large Reduction in Glaciers Under High Emissions Scenario in Central Himalayas

Journal of Glaciology, August 26 Up to 85% of the glaciers found in the Koshi River Basin could disappear by 2100 under the highest emission scenarios (RCP8.5). The Koshi River, a major tributary of the Ganges has a 50,000 km2 basin (the size of Costa Rica).  Over 5% is covered by glaciers, and spreads across India, Nepal, […]

Massive Amounts of Ice Loss in the Cryosphere

The Cryosphere Discussion/Review, August 14 A paper placed in open review notes that the cryosphere globally has lost a total of 28 trillion tonnes of ice (28,000 Gt) in the past 23 years, with a significant acceleration of mass loss since the year 2000. The largest losses have occurred to (in approximate order) Arctic sea […]

Reconstruction of Sea-level Rise Sources Closes the “Sea-level Budget”

Nature, August 19 For the first time, researchers have been able to close the “sea-level budget” (relative sources of sea-level rise), gaining new insights on the drivers of observed global mean sea-level rise over the past century. By re-examining the contributions of glaciers, ice sheets, thermal expansion, and land water storage, this study was able […]

New Global Estimate of Rock-Debris Cover on Glaciers Helps Improve Projections of Glacier Melt and Sea Level Rise

Nature Geoscience, August 3 An updated approach is required to estimate the melting of global glaciers due to rock debris partially insulating the glaciers’ surface. As glaciers shrink, eroded rock from surrounding mountain slopes becomes exposed and slides down, forming a layer on the surface of glaciers which, if thick enough, reduces the rate at […]

Extreme Glacier Loss in New Zealand Undeniably Linked to Human-Caused Climate Change

Nature Climate Change, August 3 In New Zealand’s Southern Alps, anthropogenic forcing has made extreme loss of glacier ice at least 6 times more likely to occur in 2011 and 10 times in 2018 (>90% confidence). These were two of the highest mass-loss years ever recorded in that region. This increased likelihood is driven by […]