International Symposium on the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

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The International Symposium on the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate was held in Wellington, New Zealand, from 12 to 17 February 2017. The symposium brought together renowned glaciologists from around the world to discuss and share research findings on changes in glaciers and ice sheets, sea ice and snow, and their implications on sea-level change. The symposium was hosted by Victoria University. Inka Koch, Glacier Hydrologist, ICIMOD and Tenzing Chogyal Sherpa, Kathmandu University MSc student participated in the event. 

The two share their experiences from the event:

Inka Koch, Glacier Hydrologist, ICIMOD

It was an honour to present our research on precipitation phase temperature threshold change with altitude in the Nepal Himalaya. My work was well received and I got helpful feedback. 

I also chaired a session on glacial lakes in the Himalaya. As this was my first time as session chair, I learned how to engagingly introduce speakers, allocate them appropriate time and come up with stimulating questions.

Inka Koch, Glacier Hydrologist at ICIMOD presents on her research on altitudinal precipitation phase temperature threshold change in the Nepal Himalaya


Tenzing Chogyal Sherpa, Kathmandu University MSc student


I presented a poster about my research on “Modelling glacier ice thickness distribution and bed topography of the Hidden Valley, Mustang, Nepal, using the Glabtop Model."  The research was carried out in glaciers of the Hidden Valley region of Mustang district in Nepal. There are 10 glaciers in the region, and the model outputs indicate that 43% ice volume in the region is contributed by Rikha Samba glacier. The modeled bed also reveals the possibility of nine lakes forming in the region in the near future depending on the retreating rate of glaciers. From the feedback that I received from the experts, I will work to increase the accuracy of the model and tweak some model parameters. 

I also had an opportunity to co-chair a session with Ross Whitmore from Victoria University of Wellington on "climate change and mountain glaciers".  As my research focuses on mountain glaciers of Nepal and their relation to climate change, I found the issues discussed extremely relevant. It was my first time chairing any sort of scientific session. I found myself standing in front of revered professionals. It was nerve-racking in the beginning, but I got a hang of it later.   

The experience gave a young aspiring researcher like me the opportunity to interact with professionals and experts I have been citing and referencing throughout the course of my study. The comments and recommendations I received from professionals have motivated me to better my research.