My current and past research activities are focused on South America, Kilimanjaro (Africa), and the Canadian High Arctic. I am also establishing a new project looking at avalanche climatology and ski tourism on Mount Washington (New Hampshire) and supervise student research projects at Westfield State University through independent studies.
CV & Research Gate
- Chadwell, C.D., Hardy, D.R., Braun, C., H.H. Brecher, and L.G. Thompson, Thinning of the Quelccaya Ice Cap over the last thirty years. (in prep).
- Braun, C., 2017, Surface mass balance of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf and associated Ice Rise. Chapter 6 in Copeland, L., and Mueller, D. (eds.) Arctic Ice Shelves and Ice Islands, Springer Verlag, ISBN 978-94-024-1099-0. (PDF)
- Serreze, M.C., Raup, B., Braun, C., Hardy, D.R. and R.S. Bradley, 2017, Rapid Wastage of the Hazen Plateau Ice Caps, Northeastern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. The Cryosphere, 11, 169-177.
- Samuels-Crow, K.E., Galewsky, J., Hardy, D.R., Sharp, Z.D., Worden, J., and C. Braun, 2014, Upwind convective influences on the isotopic composition of atmospheric water vapor over the tropical Andes. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, doi: 10.1002/2014JD021487.
- Stansell, N.D., Abbott, M.B., Polissar, P.J., Bezada, M., Braun, C., and B.A. Steinmann, 2014, Proglacial lake sediment records reveal Holocene climate changes in the Venezuelan Andes. Quaternary Science Reviews, 89, 44-55. Data
- Braun, C. and Bezada, M., 2013, The Disappearance of Glaciers in Venezuela. Journal of Latin American Geography, 12(2), 85-124.
- Gardner, A.S., Moholdt, G., Wouters, B., Wolken, G.J., Burgess, D.O., Sharp, M.J., Cogley, G.J., Braun, C., and Labine, C., 2011, Sharp acceleration of mass loss from Canadian Arctic Archipelago Glaciers and Ice Caps. Nature, 473, 357-360.
- Lewis, T., Braun, C., Hardy, D.R., Francus, P., and Bradley, R.S., 2005, An Extreme Sediment Transfer Event in a Canadian High Arctic Stream. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 37(4), 477-482.
- Braun, C., Hardy, D.R., Bradley, R.S., and Sahanatien, V., 2004, Mass Balance of the Ward Hunt Ice Rise and Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109(D22110).
- Braun, C., Hardy, D.R., and Bradley, R.S., 2004, Mass Balance and Area Changes of four High Arctic Plateau Ice Caps, 1959-2002. Geografiska Annaler, 86A(1), 43-52.
- Braun, C., Hardy, D.R., and Bradley, R.S., 2001, Recent recession of a small plateau ice cap, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Journal of Glaciology Correspondence, 47(156), 154.
- Vuille, M., D.R. Hardy, C. Braun, F.T. Keimig and R.S. Bradley, 2001: Climate variability on intraseasonal to interannual timescales on the Bolivian Altiplano with special emphasis on the Nevado Sajama region. Ecologia en Bolivia – Revista del Instituto de Ecologia, 35, 17-40.
- Braun, C., Hardy, D.R., Bradley, R.S., and Retelle, M., 2000, Streamflow and Suspended Sediment Transport into Lake Sophia, Cornwallis Island, Nunavut, Canada. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 32(4), 456-465.
- Braun, C., Hardy, D.R., Bradley, R.S., and Retelle, M., 2000, Hydrological and meteorological observations at Lake Tuborg, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Polar Geography, 24(2), 83-97.
- Hardy, D.R., Vuille, M., Braun, C., Keimig, F., and Bradley, R.S., 1998, Annual and daily meteorological cycles at high altitude on a tropical mountain. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 79, 1899-1913.
- Vuille, M., Hardy, D.R., Braun, C., Keimig, F., and Bradley, R.S., 1998, Atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with 1996/97 summer precipitation events on Sajama Ice Cap, Bolivia. Journal of Geophysical Research, 103(D10), 11191-11204.
Peru: The Quelccaya Ice Cap
The Quelccaya Ice Cap (Peru) is the largest glacier in the Tropics, located at over 5,200 m in the Cordillera Vilcanota. The UMass Climate System Research Center has been conducting climate and glacier research at Quelccaya’s summit since 2003. In 2012 we started a new project, funded by the National Geographic Society, to create a new 3-D model of one section of the ice cap to compare with a similar 3-D model from 1983.
- Pictures from the 2015 Fieldwork
- Story Map of the 2015 Fieldwork
- 2015 Qori Kalis Panorama
- Ice Margin Walk!
- More Videos and Panoramas
- When Science Meets Art (collaboration with Ian Van Coller)
- 2013 Fieldwork
- 2012 GigaPan of Qori Kalis glacier (by Doug Hardy)
- 2012 Qori Kalis Panorama (with iPhone)
- 1998 Animation (using Landsat images)
- Quelccaya in 1998 and 2010 (NASA)
The Disappearance of Glaciers in Venezuela
This study asks a simple question: What is the state of glaciers in Venezuela today? The answer is not as obvious as it seems – the glaciers in Venezuela have been literally forgotten in terms of scientific research since the early 1990s. The answer is provided in this project through an extensive compilation of the available scientific literature, maps, and historical photographs that document the recession of glaciers in Venezuela since the start of the 20th century. Climate data analysis and glacier mapping in 2009 and 2011 provide the modern context. Collaborators: Dr. Maximilliano Bezada (UPEL Caracas), Dr. Nathan Stansell (Nth. Illinois Univ.)
The results of this research are compiled as Braun and Bezada (2013) and was recently featured in JSTOR Daily The Last Glacier of Venezuela, in The Economist (The death of Venezuela’s Humboldt glacier, 5 October 2017), and on the Cryopolitics blog (Far away from the Arctic, Venezuela’s last glacier melts away). I am currently extending the record using the new Landsat 8 images and additional field mapping conducted February 2015.
The February 2015 fieldwork included GPS-mapping of the Humboldt Glacier ice margin. Below are links to pictures, videos, and initial results.
- LIA extent of the Humboldt Glacier?
- The Humboldt Glacier
- Pico Bonpland Tarn (Part 1)
- Pico Bonpland Tarn (Part 2)
- 360 Degrees from Pico Humboldt
- Talk @ ULA (23 February 2015)
- Landsat 8 Scene (6 January 2015)
- Pictures from the 2015 Fieldwork
- The Last Glacier of Venezuela. JSTOR Daily (29 August 2017)
- 2011 Fieldwork
- Venezuela Spyglass map (requires login)
- Venezuela 3-Panel map 1 (Topography, Landsat 8, Esri imagery, requires login)
- Venezuela 3-Panel map 2 (Esri imagery, topography, OSM)
- Humboldt Glacier ArcGIS Online map
- STARS Proposal (2011)
Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
Between 1912 and 1989, the glacier cover on Kilimanjaro decreased by 75 percent. Over the next 11 years (1989 to 2000) nearly one quarter of the remaining ice area was lost. Given the current rate of disintegration, the glaciers on Kilimanjaro may completely disappear within a few decades. In conjunction with the ice core drilling effort in 2000 a research group from the UMass Amherst installed an automated weather station (AWS) on Kilimanjaro’s Northern Icefield. Since February of 2000, we have been maintaining this station and monitoring the mass balance of summit glaciers, which continue to retreat! A comprehensive analysis of the full meteorological record is currently underway.
- Collaborators: Dr. Douglas Hardy (UMass Amherst), Dr. Ray Bradley (UMass Amherst)
- Pierce, S. and C. Braun, Glacier Recession on Kilimanjaro: A Comparison of Differernt Mapping Approaches. NCUR 2014 @ www.cur.org/ncur_2014/
We climbed Kilimanjaro from 24 September to 6 October 2011 to survey the remaining glaciers and to service our satellite-linked weather station on the Northern Icefield. Students at Westfield State followed our progress up the mountain on social media.
- Twitter: @carstendude or #Kibo2011; FB: Kibo2011 group
- Live audio conferences from Kilimanjaro
- 2011 Fieldwork
My research in the Canadian High Arctic focused on the mass balance of glaciers, ice caps, and ice shelves. The Arctic, in general, is a particular sensitive area with respect to climate change and Arctic glaciers are currently experiencing dramatic mass losses. Specifically, I was (and still am!) interested in the processes affecting the ice shelves and ice rises found along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island and the mechanisms responsible for their recent collapses.
- More information on my old project website!
- The sad tale of the St. Patrick Bay ice caps (NSIDC, February 2016)
- St. Patrick Bay Ice Caps Nearly Gone (NASA Image of the Day 3/24/2016)
- Shrinking Ellesmere Island ice caps, Canada (NASA Images of Change)
Bolivia (Nevado Sajama and Illimani)
In October 1996, a satellite-linked weather station (AWS) was established at the summit of Nevado Sajama by researchers from the Geosciences Department at the University of Massachusetts. Sajama is an inactive volcano, rising from the Altiplano to the west of Lake Titicaca, the highest peak in Bolivia (6,542 m; 18°06′ S and 68°53′ W). A second station was installed on Nevado Illimani in July 1997 (6,265 m; 16°39′ S and 67°47′ W), in the Eastern Andean Cordillera – on the western margin of the Amazon Basin. These are believed to be the highest satellite-linked weather stations in the world.
Icecaps mantle both summits, upon which the stations are situated. Snowfall during the austral summer (i.e. Dec. – Feb.) accumulates on the icecaps, which the stations record. We are measuring and sampling this annual accumulation increment, and analyzing the samples in collaboration with researchers at Ohio State University. By measuring atmospheric conditions during and between snowfall events, the geochemistry of each resultant snow pack layer can be understood in the context of climate. The ‘big-picture’ objective is to improve the calibration of geochemical variations within tropical ice cores. More information on our old website!