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Glacial isostatic adjustment: the marshmallow effect

The “marshmallow test” refers to a well-known psychological study: researchers at Stanford offered children the choice between one marshmallow immediately or two marshmallows after a fifteen-minute wait. They were seeking insights into how children develop the ability to forgo an immediate reward in order to receive a greater reward later. When I tell you a story from my childhood, you will understand why the “marshmallow effect” has become my personal nickname for delayed gratification on a geologic time scale: glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). 


Who’s Evaluating Swiss Landscapes?

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how do you define a beautiful landscape? Machine learning algorithms can be helpful here, says Adrienne Grêt-​Regamey.


How the COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us to tackle the climate crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our everyday life in an unprecedented way and has made us very conscious about the vulnerability of our modern society. It has demonstrated an increasingly critical need for systemic transformation, based on the principles of sustainability and resilience [1, 2]. As a “stress test” [3] this pandemic outbreak and ongoing crisis has already taught us several important lessons that should be considered for dealing with climate change, a fundamental challenge and risk to humanity for the 21st century and beyond.


Fragile Mountain Systems? On the Evolution of Scientific Insights

In this blog post written for the Network for European Mountain Research (NEMOR), Harald Bugmann, Professor of Forest Ecology at ETH Zurich and our very first Chair here at the MRI, reflects on the fragility of mountain forests and their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.


Opinion: If we want to increase trust in science, we need to direct more research dollars to rural America

Illustration by Sean Quinn

Pandemic relief funding should provide a much-needed boost to scientific research. And we should steer those dollars toward where they can do the most good.


Tackling “the Ultimate Challenge” in Greater Depth

I am delighted to join the MRI as a Scientific Project Officer and, as part of the GEO-GNOME project, look forward to working in an interdisciplinary and collaborative fashion to improve the availability and accessibility of data pertaining to the earth’s mountainous regions. Below, by way of self-introduction, I take the opportunity to say a few words regarding my recent doctoral research.  


Ambassador of Interdisciplinary Mountain Research | Interview with Connie Millar

Connie Millar in the East Humboldt Range, Nevada

During the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, California, Dr. Constance Millar, USDA Forest Service Pacific, Southwest Research Station, Albany, California, was honoured with an AGU Ambassador Award. The award was given for her outstanding contributions and inspiring interdisciplinary research and leadership on how mountain flora and fauna adapt to climate change, and for building a diverse scientific community to guide management of these natural resources. 


Does debris cover offset glacier retreat in the Greater Caucasus?

Elbrus Mountains

In this blog post, Levan Tielidze tells us about supra-glacial debris cover change for the Greater Caucasus. His recent study indicates more than a doubling in the area of supra-glacial debris cover for the Elbrus Massif‘s glaciers from 1986 to 2014, the largest glacierized massif in the whole region. 


COVID-19 in Glacier Regions Update: Latin America Responds, Italy Uses Drones to Enforce Quarantine, and the US Copes

A village below the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca


For the past two weeks GlacierHub has made space in the usual Monday news roundup for coverage of the coronavirus pandemic as it impacts glacier regions. In continuing that reporting, the following is an aggregation of coronavirus news stories from global glacier regions, written by guest author Peter Deneen.


Acodado Glacier, Chile Retreat Yields Tripling in Lake Area 1987 - 2020

Loriaux and Casassa (2013) examined the expansion of lakes of the Northern Patagonia Ice Cap (NPI). From 1945 to 2011 lake area expanded 65%, 66 km2. Rio Acodado has two large glacier termini at its headwater, HPN2 and HPN3. that are fed by the same accumulation zone and comprise the Acodado Glacier. The glacier separates from Steffen Glacier at 900 m. The lakes at the terminus of each were first observed in 1976 and had an area of 2.4 and 5.0 km2 in 2011 (Loriaux and Casassa, 2013).  Willis et al (2012) noted a 3.5 m thinning per year from 2001-2011 in the ablation zone of the Acodado Glacier, they also note annual velocity is less than 300 m/year in the ablation zone. Davies and Glasser (2012) noted that the Acodado Glacier termini, HPN2 and HPN3, had retreated at a steadily increasing rate from 1870 to 2011. Here we examine the substantial changes in Acodado Glacier from 1987...

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