I’m headed to Nepal this November to meet our climate scientists. Click through to check out the program’s work. The scientists are installing remote sensing equipment to monitor glacial melt, conducting LiDAR (GPR) surveys, and helping train sherpas and others on how to deal climate impacts in the Himalayas. We’re also co-funding a trash and sanitation clean up on Everest. Fun stuff. A bit worried I won’t be in shape to make the basecamp climbs…
A month after the Himalayan floods, Indian officials declare 5,748 persons missing.
Deadline June 25th. Incredible opportunity. Click through for more. Share with your journalist contacts. Via Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP).
With global warming, the glaciers are melting. Once stretching to the edge of town, they now end high in the mountains. Moreover, their greenish glacial water is forming lakes. In summer, when the melting accelerates, floodwaters threaten the area. But the avalanche witnessed by Mr. Bomio shows that the shrinking of the glaciers removes a kind of buttress supporting parts of the mountains, menacing the region with rock slides.
Grindelwald stands as a stark example of what is happening these days to Switzerland’s glaciers, and there are more than a hundred, large and small. As the Lower Grindelwald Glacier shrank, its ice no longer buttressed the east wall of the Eiger, a 13,025-foot mountain that is part of the ring south of Grindelwald. Moreover, the warming reduces the effect of permafrost that once acted as a sort of glue binding together the mass of the mountains. On that day in 2006, a chunk of the Eiger amounting to about 900,000 cubic yards fell from the east face, causing the cloud of rock dust that startled Mr. Bomio and his friends.
Since 1997, Ruth Meier has run the Hotel Gletscherschlucht (the name means glacier gorge), with 6 rooms and 18 beds, at a point where water from the melting lower glacier runs out of a steep and narrow gorge. Well into the 20th century, the glacier extended clear through the gorge, which is about three-fifths of a mile long, and until about World War I, ice blocks were carved out of it for use in cooling in restaurants and kitchens as far afield as Paris. Where her hotel stands a field kitchen once fed the workmen who hacked the ice.
But now a large lake of melted glacial water has formed above the gorge. To avoid potential flooding that would threaten the village below, Ms. Meier said, a $15 million tunnel, more than a mile long, was completed in 2010 to channel excess water when the lake swells in the summer.
WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - Water levels in U.S.aquifers, the vast underground storage areas tapped foragriculture, energy and human consumption, between 2000 and 2008dropped at a rate that was almost three times as great as any time during the 20th century, U.S. officials said on Monday.
The accelerated decline in the subterranean reservoirs is due to a combination of factors, most of them linked to rising population in the United States, according to Leonard Konikow, a research hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.
The big rise in water use started in 1950, at the time of an economic boom and the spread of U.S. suburbs. However, the steep increase in water use and the drop in groundwater levels that followed World War 2 were eclipsed by the changes during the first years of the 21st century, the study showed.
As consumers, farms and industry used more water starting in 2000, aquifers were also affected by climate changes, with less rain and snow filtering underground to replenish what was being pumped out, Konikow said in a telephone interview from Reston, Virginia.
Depletion of groundwater can cause land to subside, cut yields from existing wells, and diminish the flow of water from springs and streams.
Where is all the groundwater going?
The Vatican’s Academy of Sciences published a report titled, “Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene." It has a special focus on climate change impacts on human’s main source of fresh drinking water supplies - mountain glaciers.
I found it interesting that the report begins with a defense of climate science and a response to common misconceptions. I think this is the first time I’ve seen this, and I’ve read thousands of climate reports over the years.
It also has three sharp, concise recommendations on how to help deal with the impacts - adaptation is one of them.
The Berkshires are a small mountain chain and community located in western Mass and Connecticut (near me!). It’s widely known for its picturesque New Englandy towns with lots of arts, music, hiking, skiing, hunting, fishing, apple picking, and and nice things.
The local paper, called the Berkshire Eagle, posted this really well written piece on how the economy will be impacted by climate change. The locals have not been responding well to the article, but I admire it for being as straightforward as you can get.
By the end of the century, the Berkshire County economy — much like the global economy — may be forever altered by the effects of climate change. Some local economic changes have already begun in response to impacts expected from climate change in the coming decades.
Land-use planners and policy specialists in the insurance industry are preparing for changes likely to be brought on by warmer temperatures and more severe weather events. Local farmers and business owners are already looking to their future, many doubtful about the climate change concept, but still determined to build revenue streams that will withstand climate changes or compensate for weather-generated losses.
In one example of a specific local economic effect likely to result from climate change, Cameron Wake, associate professor with the Institute of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire and a lead author of the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists, had a dire assessment of the local ski industry: “By the end of the century, the only ski areas that remain viable [in the Northeast] will be in the western mountains of Maine.”