December 13, 2009 |
"Let's have coffee while we wait," Olivier Greber said, extending an offer I couldn't pass up, even though I'd already had breakfast. The chance to test my skiing abilities on the Vallée Blanche glacier above Chamonix energized me, but stubborn flu symptoms tempered my eagerness. Two days before, my exploration of the immense Portes du Soleil terrain above Morzine had ended quickly and unceremoniously after I was overcome by fever, sore throat, general aches and mild nausea. The unexpected coffee break allowed me more time to psych myself up for the 12 1/2 -mile run with a vertical drop just short of 9,000 feet.
November 10, 2009 |
From a tree-shaded plateau facing Mt. Kenya, the worshipers gaze anxiously at its melting icecap and wonder: Is God dead? For 7 million Kenyans who rely on the runoff of Africa's second-highest peak to survive, evaporating springs and dry riverbeds are making life harder. In the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, reduced melts have contributed to rolling blackouts when rivers fed by the mountain are unable to run hydroelectric plants. But for those Kenyans who still practice tribal religions and revere Mt. Kenya as the home of God, the environmental alterations mean more than a threat to their livelihood.
August 7, 2009 |
The federal government Thursday released the most comprehensive study of melting glaciers in North America -- and the results show a rapid and accelerating shrinkage over the last half a century because of global warming. One of the glaciers in the study, the South Cascade Glacier in Washington state, has lost nearly half of its volume and a quarter of its mass since 1958, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey said.
November 22, 2008 |
In a discovery that partly answers the question of where all the water went on Mars, scientists have found vast, debris-covered glaciers much nearer the equatorial region than anyone had expected, according to a report Friday in the journal Science. The glaciers, estimated to contain at least as much water as Lake Huron and possibly as much as the entire Great Lakes, were found by ground-penetrating radar on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. "We have found a big chunk of the missing water that people have known must be there," said Ali Safaeinili, a member of the radar team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge.
October 11, 2008 |
More than 99% of Alaska's large glaciers are in retreat or thinning, a new book by the U.S. Geological Survey says. Glaciers in nearly every mountain range and island group are experiencing "significant retreat, thinning or stagnation," particularly those at lower elevations, according to "The Glaciers of Alaska," the agency said Monday. About 5% of Alaska is covered by more than 100,000 glaciers. Those at elevations below 4,900 feet are retreating the most. Some glaciers at higher attitudes, where temperatures are lower, have expanded.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2008 |
A major rock slide Wednesday at Yosemite National Park injured three visitors, destroyed more than half a dozen cabins and prompted park officials to evacuate popular Curry Village as a precaution. The slide let loose about 7 a.m. more than halfway up the 3,200-foot face of Glacier Point, which looms above the tent cabins and concession services on the valley floor.
August 23, 2008 |
In northern Greenland, a part of the Arctic that had seemed immune from global warming, new satellite images show a growing giant crack and an 11-square-mile chunk of ice hemorrhaging off a major glacier, scientists said Thursday. That has led the university professor who spotted the wounds in the massive Petermann glacier to predict disintegration of a major portion of the Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier within the year. The crack is 7 miles long and about half a mile wide.
April 6, 2008 |
For 5,000 years, great tongues of ice have spread over the 3-mile-high slopes of Puncak Jaya, in the most remote reaches of this remote tropical island. Now those glaciers are melting, and Lonnie Thompson must get there before they're gone. To the American glaciologist, the ancient ice is a vanishing "archive" of the story of El Nino, the equatorial phenomenon driving much of the world's climate. More than that, the little-explored glaciers are a last unknown for a mountaineering scientist who for three decades has circled the planet pioneering the deep-drilling of ice cores, both to chronicle the history of climate and to bear witness to the death of tropical glaciers from global warming.