As the climate continues to change, it is important, now more than ever, to quantify what is happening to the glaciers of the Himalaya. “Boots on the ground” research approaches in Nepal and Tibet serve as invaluable ways to gather data in high-resolution and in real-time. Partnerships with local people, photographers, and mountaineers are crucial to obtaining data that inform and inspire.
Black Ice consists of a small team of scientists and Sherpas who work together on Nepal’s Ngozumpa glacier. This 18-kilometer “river of ice” is riddled with supraglacial lakes, which effectively eat away at the glacier from above and below. Black Ice studies these lakes and their behavior through time lapse photography and in-situ field research.
Project supporters and collaborators include GlacierWorks, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Swansea University, University Centre in Svalbard and University of St. Andrews. The November 2012 and May 2013 Black Ice expeditions are made possible due to the generous support from crowd-funding via PetriDish.org, a USAID Climber-Scientist individual grant, and a research grant from the Geological Society of America (GSA).