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September 7, 2017

Ventisquero Grande Glacier, Chile Retreats; Not so Grande in 2017

Ventisquero Grande Glacier comparison in Landsat images from 1997 and 2017.  Red arrows mark the 1997 terminus, yellow arrows the 2017 terminus, purple dots the snowline and purple arrow the junction of the tributaries.  Ventisquero Grande Glacier is at the head of Ventisquero Seno in the Cordillera Darwin of Tierra del Fuego.  The fjord is just west of Garibladi Fjord and opens into Darwin Channel.  Melkonian et al (2013) note widespread thinning of four large …

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August 31, 2017

Blackfoot Glacier, Glacier National Park Slow Recession Indicates Persistence

Comparison of Blackfoot Glacier in August Landsat images from 1998, 2015 and 2017 Blackfoot Glacier is the second largest glacier in Glacier National Park in Montana.  The glacier is on the north side of Mount Blackfoot and is close to two other glaciers Harrison and Jackson.  Glacier National Park over the last decade has initiated and maintained an extensive glacier monitoring program led by Dan Fagre.  This program has led …

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August 29, 2017

Saleina Glacier, Switzerland Terminus Separation

Saleina Glacier comparison in 1985 and 2015 Landsat images.  The red arrow is the 1985 terminus, the yellow arrow the 2015 terminus and the purple dots the transient snow line in these August images.  Saleina Glacier is south of Trient Glacier descending a steep eastward oriented valley from Aiguille d’Argentiere on the northern end of the Mount Blanc Range.  The Swiss Monitoring Network has maintained annual observations of the glacier …

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August 25, 2017

Record High Mont Blanc, France Glacier August Snow Lines 2017

Landsat image of the transient snow line on Mont Blanc Glaciers, France on 8/19/2017.  The average snow line (Purple dots) is at 3100 m.  Glaciers on Mer de Glace (M), Argentiere (A), Tour Glacier (L), Trient Glacier (T) and Saleina Glacier (S).  This has been a warmer summer in the Alps with reports emerging of various summer ski areas that take advantage of glaciers closing early or adding snow guns …

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August 23, 2017

Observing Glacier Runoff Changes Under the Same Weather Conditions

View of Sholes Glacier on August 8th in 2015 left and 2017 right.  Note difference in ratio of snow surface to ice surface exposed.  Sholes Glacier is at the headwaters of Wells Creek in North Fork Nooksack River watershed in Washington.  We have been measuring the mass balance of this glacier annually since 1990 and runoff in detail since 2012 (Pelto, 2015).  Glacier runoff in this watershed during late summer …

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August 14, 2017

Canadian Columbia River Basin Winter 2016-2017: A Late Rally

Guest Post by Ben Pelto, PhD Candidate, UNBC Geography, pelto@unbc.ca As the summer ticks by and the fall glacier field season approaches, I’ve realized that I never put out a winter 2016-2017 synopsis, so, like the snowfall this year, it’s arrived late. May 2017, Jesse Milner of the ACMG on the Nordic Glacier in front of the “meteor strike” a newly exposed rock face that spalls ice regularly. Photo by …

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August 1, 2017

34th Annual Field Program NORTH CASCADE GLACIER CLIMATE PROJECT 2017

  2016 Field Season Video NORTH CASCADE GLACIER CLIMATE PROJECT 2017 For the thirty fourth consecutive summer it is time to head into the field to monitor the continued response of North Cascade glaciers to climate change.  In 1984 when I began this program we selected 10 key glaciers to monitor.  Two of these have now disappeared.  All the glaciers have retreated extensively and lost considerable volume.  The mass balance …

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July 27, 2017

Plaine Morte Glacier, Switzerland July 2017 Bare of Snow

Landsat images from 2013, 2014 and 2015 and Sentinel Image from 2017 indicating lack of snowcover on Plaine Morte Glacier (PM).  Nearby Wildstrubel Glacier (W) terminus has separated since 2005. Glacier de la Plaine Morte  (Plaine Morte: PM) is in the Swiss Alps just north of Crans Montana.  The Crans Montana resort has a lift that ends just above the glacier, and a ski loop traverses the middle of the …

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July 20, 2017

Ellsworth Glacier Retreat & Lake Expansion, Alaska

Ellsworth Glacier in 1989 and 2016 Landsat images.  Upper yellow arrow marks the west terminus in 2016 and the lower yellow the 2016 east margin.  Purple dots mark the snowline and purple arrows tributaries from the east that are thinning and disconnecting.  Orange arrow marks icebergs in the lake.  Ellsworth Glacier is a valley glacier draining south from Sargent Icefield on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Along with the Excelsior Glacier it …

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July 17, 2017

Lucia Glacier, Chile Retreat Opens New Embayment

Lucia Glacier retreat from 1987 to 2016 in Landsat images.  Red arrows mark 1987 terminus, yellow arrows 2016 terminus, orange arrow an emerging bedrock area, pink arrow a tributary with increased debris cover and purple dots the snowline. Lucia Glacier terminates in Lago Berguez at the northern margin of the Southern Patagonia Icefield.  The lake drains into the Rio Pascua.   Willis et al (2012) observed that between February 2000 and March 2012 the …

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