About Me

The GlacierHub is a website managed by Ben Orlove, an anthropologist at the Earth Institute and CRED at Columbia University, with support of Nick Smith, Gina Stovall and Brad Swain. GlacierHub seeks to expand and deepen the understanding of glaciers. It provides information about current scientific research, tells stories of people who live near glaciers or who visit them, and offers accounts of the efforts of communities and organizations to address the challenges brought by glacier retreat. It serves as well as a nexus to link people who are concerned about glaciers, so that they can communicate with each other and develop responses to the changes in glaciers.

GlacierHub is funded by the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions under the National Science Foundation Program Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DMUU), with additional support from the MA Program in Climate and Society at Columbia University. Major funding is provided under the cooperative agreement NSF SES-0951516.

Austrian Glacier Serves As Site for Mars Simulation
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Austrian Glacier Serves As Site for Mars Simulation

A manned mission to Mars is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to a remote glacier in western Austria known mostly for its surrounding ski slopes and snow-capped mountain vistas. This post was originally posted last year on the GlacierHub.org by Ashley Chappo. The Kaunertal Glacier, located in the Tyrol state of Austria, recently served […]

Glacier Countries Help the Paris Agreement Enter into Force
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Glacier Countries Help the Paris Agreement Enter into Force

Small Glacier Countries Take a Big Step On October 5, several small mountain countries with glaciers—Austria, Bolivia, and Nepal—undertook an important step in advancing global action on climate change. They helped the Paris Agreement reach the threshold to enter into force and become legally binding. This Agreement, the outcome of the UNFCCC COP21 last November, […]

Glacier Research in Peru Links Students with Communities
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Glacier Research in Peru Links Students with Communities

A faculty member and students from a provincial university in Peru recently presented the results of a class project on glacier research at an international conference. Their study of glacier retreat and environmental risks draws on the familiarity of the faculty and students with local environments and cultures. It sets an important example by showing […]

Science and politics in a mountain grassland in Peru
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Science and politics in a mountain grassland in Peru

A recent visit to a research site in a high-elevation grassland in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru demonstrated the importance of these rapidly changing ecosystems. It showed as well the challenges of carrying out studies in this area, and the opportunities for collaborations between different organizations. This post was originally posted on the GlacierHub.org by […]

Understanding glaciers through indigenous cultures
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Understanding glaciers through indigenous cultures

Climate change is viewed as an economic, political, and physical problem. But a study in WIREs Climate Change by Elizabeth A. Allison (found here) shows that there is a mental aspect to climate change that is being ignored by the major communities invested in the issue: the spiritual and religious importance of glaciers to mountain […]

Did glaciers lure wolves back into California?
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Did glaciers lure wolves back into California?

After more than 90 years since the last wolf in California was killed, a pack was recently observed near Mount Shasta. Its presence was established by photographs taken earlier this month by trail cameras managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). These images show five gray wolf pups and two adults in […]

A Mountain Festival in Bhutan Draws Locals and Visitors
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A Mountain Festival in Bhutan Draws Locals and Visitors

Hundreds of people, ranging from yak-herders to government officials to foreign tourists, gathered in a remote village of Bhutan earlier this month to attend a two-day mountain festival, designed to celebrate local cultures and promote conservation. The sponsoring organizations and communities presented a wide array of activities, with broad participation by the diverse set of people […]

Climate variability shapes glacier retreat in Peru and Norway
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Climate variability shapes glacier retreat in Peru and Norway

Two recent studies, one in Peru and the other in Norway, link glacier retreat, not to climate change as many researchers have done, but to climate variability—the fluctuations in temperature and precipitation across large regions of the world, on time scales of years or decades. These studies add an important level of detail to the […]

Mountains turning into frozen human-waste lands
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Mountains turning into frozen human-waste lands

Dealing with tourists’ waste is always a problem; they usually have a lot of disposable goods and aren’t necessarily invested in the area they’re visiting. The problem doesn’t start and stop with trash, however. Where to put tourists’ natural waste is an important matter for local governments and planners. This issue becomes especially important in […]

GLOFs strike Central Asia yet again
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GLOFs strike Central Asia yet again

A glacier lake outburst flood (GLOF) in Central Asia created extensive property damage and displaced  large numbers of local residents, though fortunately it did not cause any fatalities. The lake broke in the Pamir Mountains of the  remote Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), a region of eastern Tajikistan, earlier this month. High temperatures in the first weeks of […]