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You are browsing the archive for climate change glacier retreat Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

20 July 2022

Glacier Landslides and Collapses Preconditioned by Warming

Lamplugh Glacier, Alaska in 2015 (before) and 2016 (after) landslide in Landsat images. The Landslide covered 17 km2 of the glacier, yellow dots. B=Brady, L=Lamplugh, R=Reid Glacier. Ice whether as permafrost, in a glacier, filling cracks or coating surfaces literally helps stabilize materials on mountain slopes. Climbers who ascend glaciated peaks have long practiced early starts to avoid the heat of the day. The goal to avoid falling, rock, ice …

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11 February 2022

Firn Area Ratio an Emerging Metric for Glacier Mass Balance?

Columbia Glacier in 2015 viewed from the ridge above the glacier. The firn line is marked by blue dots. The age of the snow surface of 2015 and the firn surfaces of 2011-2014 are noted. For an alpine glacier to be in equilibrium at the end of summer the glacier needs to be 50-70% covered in snow from the previous winter. This is the accumulation area ratio (AAR). AAR is …

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4 November 2021

Drogpa Nagtsang Glacier, China 2021 Snow Line Positions Lake Expansion

Drogpa Nagtsang Glacier, China retreat and proglacial expansion in 1993 and 2021 Landsat images. Red arrow is the 1993 terminus, yellow arrow the 2021 terminus and yellow dots are the snowline. Drogpa Nagtsang Glacier, China is 30 km west of Mount Everest terminating in an expanding proglacial lake. The glacier begins on the Nepal border at 6400 m, and its meltwater enters the Tamakoshi River that supplies the Upper Tamakoshi …

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22 October 2021

From Shasta, CA to Adams to Baker, WA to Kokanee, BC to Banff, AB High Glacier Mass Loss in 2021

Easton Glacier on Mount Baker in late August 2021, with less than 20% of the glacier retaining snowpack. The exceptional heat of the summer of 2021 across glaciated mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest, reduced snowcover extent from Mount Shasta, CA north to Mount Adams and Mount Baker, WA and east to Glacier National Park, MT,  Kokanee Glacier, BC and Bonnet Glacier, Alberta.  Here we examine late summer images to illustrate the extent …

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12 October 2021

Sholes Glacier, WA and a Cascade of Ologies

Watercolor painting of Sholes Glacier. The small figure is at the current terminus of the glacier, and the photo that inspired this painting was taken from where the glacier used to end about 35 years prior. By Jill Pelto Sholes Glacier is on the northeast flank of Mount Baker, WA.  We have spent the last 32 years completing detailed measurments on this glacier that has revealed a story of glacier …

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28 September 2021

Kokanee Glacier 2021: slash and burn

By Ben Pelto, PhD, UBC Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Research Fellow Since 2013 I have been working on the Kokanee Glacier. Located just outside of Nelson in southeastern British Columbia (BC), the Kokanee Glacier is due north of the Washington-Idaho border. This work began as part of a five-year study of the cryosphere in the Canadian portion of the Columbia River. This project was carried out by the Canadian Columbia River …

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13 April 2021

Benito Glacier, Chile 2021 Calving Event Drives Further Retreat

  Benito Glacier in 2000 and 2021 Landsat images. Locations 1-6 are current or former distributary terminus locations. Red arrow is the 2000 terminus location and yellow arrow the 2021 terminus location.  A small cloud is obscuring an iceberg near terminus.  Purple dots are the snowline. Benito Glacier is a temperate outlet glacier on the west side of the North Patagonian Icefield terminating in an expanding lake. The glacier is …

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27 August 2020

Hochstetter Ice Cap Loses All Snowcover in 2020, Franz Josef Land

Landsat images from 1999, 2015 and 2020 of Hochstetter ice Cap.  Snowcover=100% in 1999, 80% in 2015 and 0% in 2020. Hochstetter Ice Cap covers most of Hocstetter Island (Ostrov Khokhshtettera) in the the southern part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago.  Situated ~1000 km from the North Pole this area is known for its white ice caps and cold summer temperature averaging 2 C.  The lack of sea ice …

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17 August 2019

Alpine Glaciers-BAMS State of Climate 2018

Figure 1. Global Alpine glacier annual mass balance record of reference glaciers submitted to the World Glacier Monitoring Service, with a minimum of 30 reporting glaciers. For the last decade I have written the section on Alpine Glaciers for the BAMS State of the Climate report, the 2018 report was published this week, below is the section on alpine glaciers.  The key data resources is  the World Glacier Monitoring Service …

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10 June 2019

Asejiaguo Glacier, China Retreat and Lake Expansion

Asejiaguo Glacier in Landsat images from 1993 and 2018.  The yellow arrow indicates the 2018 terminus and the red arrow the 1993 terminus location.  Point 1 and 2 are areas of expanding bedrock in the 5400-5600 m. Asejiaguo Glacier drains east from the China-Nepal Border and is at the headwaters of the Yarlung Tsangpo, which becomes the Brahmaputra River.  The Yarlung Tsangpo powers the 510 MW Zangmu Hydropower Station.  Gardelle …

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18 March 2019

Soranano Glacier, Peru Separation and Retreat 1995-2018

Western Soranano (WS) and Eastern Soranano Glacier (ES) in 1995 and 2000 Landsat images and 2018 Sentinel image, with red arrows indicating the terminus in 1995, and yellow arrows the 2018 terminus.  Here we examine the west and east Soranano Glacier glacier descending south from the 5800 m summit of Jatunnano (Hatun Nana Punta). The glaciers are just east of Laguna Sibinacocha, which drains into the Rio Vilcanota.  Retreat of …

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24 May 2018

Suhai Hu Ice Cap, China Outlet Glacier Retreat

Suhai Hu, Quilian Mountains Ice Cap in 1999 and 2016 Landsat image indicating five different outlet glacier termini that all ended in proglacial lakes in 1999 and all retreated significantly by 2016.  Here we examine an unnamed icecap that I refer to as the “Suhai Hu” Ice Cap and five of its largest outlet glaciers in the Qilian Mountains in northwest China, with Landsat imagery from 1999-2016.  The northern outlet …

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3 January 2018

Tajuco Glacier Lake, China Expands with Glacier Retreat

Tajuco Glacier terminating in Tajuco Lake retreat in 1994 and 2017 Landsat comparison. Red arrow is 1997 terminus location, yellow arrow is the 2017 terminus location and the purple dots are the snowline in 2017.  Tajuco Glacier Lake is a moraine dammed glacier lake in the Tingri district of China.  It drains into the Amur River which flows south into Nepal. Shijin et al (2015) reported on the expansion of …

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4 December 2017

Global Glacier Change Bulletin-Many Glaciers Same Story

  Cumulative glacier mass balance losses reported by WGMS by region, all glacier, reference glaciers and geodetic mass balance (Sholes Glacier, WA in background).  The data set size, location and type changes but the story remains the same, mass loss resulting from global temperature increase. The World Glacier Monitoring Service has released the second bulletin of Global Glacier Change.  The bulletin provides detailed global and regional information on alpine glaciers …

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24 October 2017

Gangge’er Glacier, Retreat & Tributary Separation Qilian Mt. China

Gangge’er Glacier, Qilian Mt., China comparison in 1997 and 2017 Landsat Images.  Yellow arrows indicates 2017 terminus, red arrows the 1990 terminus, and purple arrows tributaries that have detached.  The snowline is  purple dots and Points 1-3 indicate bare rock areas amidst the glacier. The largest glacier in the Gangge’er Xiaoheli Shan range of the the Qilian Mountains in China, here referred to as Gangge’er Glacier, drains northwest into the …

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27 June 2017

Mensu Glacier, Siberia Russia Retreat 1994-2016

Mensu Glacier, Russia in comparison of 1994 and 2016 Landsat images.  Red arrow is the 1994 terminus, yellow arrow 2016 terminus, purple arrow a tributary and purple dots the snowline.  Mensu Glacier (Lednik Mensu) drains northeast from Gora Belukha in the Russian Altai.  The glacier drains into the Ob River and then the Arctic Ocean.  This glacier has not been the focus of detailed research to date. Khromova et al (2014) report …

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19 April 2017

Nuusuaq Peninsula West Greenland Glacier Disintegration

Comparison of alpine glaciers on Nuussuaq Peninsula in 1990 and 2016 Landsat images.  Each arrow is at a specific location in both images exhibiting glacier separation/disintegration.  The Nuussuaq Peninsula is just north of Disko Island in West Greenland and is home to many alpine glaciers and small ice caps.  Here we examine the furthest west group of alpine glaciers on the peninsula.  This group is 125 km west of the ice …

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3 April 2017

Dama Blanca Glacier Retreat, Southern Chile

Dama Blanca Glacier in Landsat images from 1986 and 2017.  Red arrow is the 1986 terminus, yellow arrow the 2017 terminus, purple dots the snowline and purple arrows a bedrock ridge. Dama Blanca Glacier drains west from Chile’s Sarmiento de Gamboa Range in Southern Patagonia. terminating in Lago Verde in the Alacalufes National Reserve. Alacalufes NR features kelp rich fjords, Northofagus coastal forests and glacier clad alpine zones. Davies and Glasser, …

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24 February 2017

Shoup Glacier, Alaska Retreat, Thinning, Velocity Decline

Shoup Glacier comparison in 1986 and 2016 Landsat images.  The glacier retreated 1900 m in this interval.  Red arrow is 1986 terminus, yellow arrow the 2016 terminus, green arrow rock rib emerging from beneath glacier, purple dots a landslide deposit, and purple arrow the snowline. Shoup Glacier is between the Columbia Glacier and Valdez draining from the Chugach Mountains in southern Alaska.  The glacier was a tidewater terminating glacier until …

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17 February 2017

State of Alpine Glaciers in 2016-Negative for 37th Consecutive Year

Figure 1. Global Alpine glacier annual mass balance record of reference glaciers submitted to the World Glacier Monitoring Service. Each year I write the section of the BAMS State of the Climate on Alpine Glaciers.  What follows is the initial draft of that with a couple of added images and an added paragraph. The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) record of mass balance and terminus behavior (WGMS, 2015) provides a …

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