Did the Little Ice Age start with a big bang?
According to the new study, the Little Ice Age, a period of cooling temperatures that began after the Middle Ages and lasted into the late 19th century was triggered by repeated, explosive volcanism and sustained by a self- perpetuating sea ice-ocean feedback system in the North Atlantic Ocean
posted by 2manyusernames
on Mar 6, 2012 -
In 1887, a glacial geologist named George Frederick Wright was hiking across the Muir Glacier in southeast Alaska when something strange caught his eye. Just as the daylight began to fade, the previously uninterrupted expanse of white snow around him began to develop what appeared to be a five o’clock shadow....
posted by Chrysostom
on Nov 16, 2011 -
The Guardian recently reported
that, according to the 2011 edition of the Times Atlas, a new island called Uunartoq Qeqertaq has emerged off the coast of Greenland due to a 15% loss in glacial cover since 1999. However, glaciologists were quick to point out
that this was deeply improbable. Ejo Schrama, a professor at TU Delft whose research interests include satellite mapping of Greenland, has posted a copy of a letter
subscribed by several scientists at the Scott Polar Research Insititute expressing displeasure/disgruntlement with the publishers of the atlas (the linked post has been continually updated as events have warranted, so keep an eye out). The publishers have issued a semi-apologetic statement
, but why was the mistake made in the first place? ScienceInsider thinks they might have worked out the answer
(see the update in the second half of the article).
posted by Dim Siawns
on Sep 23, 2011 -
In 1987, the Caltech biomagnetist and paleomagnetist Joe Kirschvink gave undergraduate Dawn Sumner a rock sample [from South Australia] to study for her senior thesis.
The apparent glacial origin of this rock lead directly to the theory that periodically the Earth has been thoroughly glaciated from the poles to the Equator: the so-called Snowball Earth
events. A website
dedicated to this theory includes detailed teaching slides
, a FAQ
, and many other resources on this interesting period in Earth's history.
posted by Rumple
on Apr 21, 2008 -
About 10% of Iceland
is covered by glaciers. Thanks to the ongoing catastrophy of global warming, we Icelanders have noticed drastic changes in our poor glaciers. On of the more concerned individuals regarding this is the now retired physician Leifur Jonsson, who is seen in this report by National Geographic.
The report does not contain, however, the story about when Leifur almost died on a glacier. In his younger years he got lost in a blizzard, skiied off cliffs and fell 900 feet into the crater of Grímsvötn
, an active volcano underneath Icelands largest glacier Vatnajökull.
Decades later, two people, also lost in a blizzard, accidentally drove off the same cliffs, as is reported here
. The interesting part is that when they were brought to the Emergency Department of Landspitali-University Hospital in Reykjavik, the physician taking care of the was Leifur...
posted by nucleus
on Mar 3, 2008 -
Villagers in the mountains of northern India and Pakistan have been growing their own glaciers
for centuries. They're small domesticated glaciers
, cultivated by hand, and they provide a reliable source of water for agriculture. Legend has it that they made glaciers to block mountain passes and keep the Mongol Hordes out! More detail in New Scientist
- subscription required, but you can probably see this instruction sheet
posted by moonmilk
on Feb 7, 2008 -
A New Alpine Melt Theory:
"The Alpine glaciers are shrinking, that much we know. But new research suggests that in the time of the Roman Empire, they were smaller than today. And 7,000 years ago they probably weren't around at all." Fascinating report from Der Spiegal about the "Green Alps" theory. This page
has a small graphic showing the Alps today and how they might have looked in a warmer period. Another article here
. Maybe Otzi
forgot to pack his sunscreen?
posted by LarryC
on Jun 18, 2005 -
Chicago is sinking
at the rate of about a millimeter a year(or about 4 inches per century), and it's being caused by melting Canadian glaciers that cause the land to shift.
posted by geeknik
on May 21, 2004 -
2002 looks like 2nd warmest year on record
(since recordkeeping of global temperatures began in 1867, that is) and glaciers are melting faster then ever
- 30 years from now, after the great climate catastrophe of '017, when kids ask me what I did to avert it, I'll say - "see, there was this internet blog called metafilter that I'd post bad environmental news to sometimes ...what was the internet? what was a "blog"? why didn't I do more? well, there were these people called "skeptics", and there was this other thing called "the war on terrorism", and it all seemed so distant and speculative and we were all so busy, and it was hard to get around without a car, and the dogs needed to be walked, and I needed to have a cavity filled, and there was all that laundry, and my big toe hurt, and, and..."
posted by troutfishing
on Dec 14, 2002 -
which show just how much glaciers have melted in the last century. Now that the North Pole is a swimming pool, the Ross Ice Shelf has, as the Onion put it, embarked on a world tour, and the worst flooding in 800 years is hitting Eastern Europe, aren't we maybe a little bit worried about climate change... just a little, maybe?
What freak weather phenomenon is creeping you out these days?
posted by AlexSteffen
on Aug 14, 2002 -