More than 25,000 scientists traveled to San Francisco for the week-long conference to present their research on classic hard-science subjects and a few surprises, including the migration of creatures ranging from Alaska earthworms to humans threatened by rising sea level.
Adding dirt to ice makes it darker, which can help it absorb more sunlight. About one-quarter inch of rocks on top of glacier ice acts like a black tarp, melting the glacier faster. If the rock coating is thicker, which is often the case, it acts as insulation.
Icelanders will soon install a plaque they hope people will read, long after those who bolted it to a mountain are dead.
LeConte Glacier near Petersburg is the farthest-south glacier that spills into the sea on this side of the equator. Where that ice tongue dips into salty water, scientists recently measured melting much greater than predicted.
While the tides stopped in Russell Fjord, the meltwater from glaciers did not. During the five-month closure, water within Russell Fjord and the connected arm of Nunatak Fjord crept upward.
A new review of glacier research data paints a picture of a future planet with a lot less ice and a lot more water.