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You are browsing the archive for mount baker glacier retreat Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

26 July 2022

Deming Glacier Icefall Deceleration 2017-2022 Driven by Mass Balance Loss

Deming Glacier velocity from NASA MEaSUREs ITS_Live at four locations from below icefall at blue X to above icefall at red X. There is not a significant change in velocity above the icefall (red X), but significant deceleration in the icefall and below the icefall.  The Deming Glacier drains the southwest side of the summit of Mount Baker a stratovolcano in the North Cascades of Washington, with a massive icefall …

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29 August 2019

North Cascade Glacier Climate Project 2019, 36th Annual Assessment

 The summer of 2019 found the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project in the field for the 36th consecutive summer monitoring the response of North Cascade glaciers to climate change.  This long term monitoring program was initiated partly in response to a challenge in 1983 from Stephen Schneider to begin monitoring glacier systems before and as climate change became a dominant variable in their behavior. The field team was comprised …

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19 November 2018

35th Annual Field Observations of North Cascade Glaciers

The 2018 field season observations, conditions and summary. Field team Mariama Dryak, Erin McConnell, Jill Pelto and Mauri Pelto. For the 35th consecutive year I headed to the North Cascade Range, Washington to monitor the response of glaciers to climate change.  Two of the glaciers the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project (NCGCP) monitors are now part of the 42 glaciers comprising the World Glacier Monitoring Service  (WGMS) reference glacier network, …

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15 March 2018

Easton Glacier, Mount Baker, WA Annual Retreat & Mass Loss 1990-2017

Mass balance, terminus and supra glacial stream assessment are illustrated in the video, Filmed by Mauri Pelto, Jill Pelto, Melanie Gajewski, with music from Scott Powers. This is the story of  the annual monitoring of Easton Glacier, Washington.  We have been monitoring Easton Glacier on Mount Baker, a stratovolcano in the North Cascade Range, Washington since 1990.  Each year we survey the terminus position, measure its mass balance, assess crevasse depths …

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1 August 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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14 October 2016

2016 Field Season Results-North Cascade Glacier Climate Project

For Mount Baker, Washington the freezing level from January-April 20 was not as high as the record from 2015, but still was 400 m above the long term mean. April 1 snowpack at the key long term sites in the North Cascades was 8% above average. A warm spring altered this, with April being the warmest on record. The three-four weeks ahead of normal on June 10th, but three weeks …

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31 July 2016

Thirty-third Annual North Cascade Glacier Climate Project Field Season Underway

Base Map of the region showing main study glaciers, produced by Ben Pelto. From President Reagan to President Obama each August since 1984 I have headed to the North Cascade Range of Washington to measure the response of glaciers to climate change.  Specifically we will measure the mass balance of nine glaciers, runoff from three glaciers and map the terminus change on 12 glaciers. The data is reported to the …

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29 June 2016

Conducting Long Term Annual Glacier Monitoring

Easton Glacier in 1990, 2003 and 2015 from same location. Below Painting by Jill Pelto of crevasse assessment using a camline. This is the story of how you develop and conduct a long term glacier monitoring program.  We have been monitoring the annual mass balance of Easton Glacier on Mount Baker, a stratovolcano in the North Cascade Range, Washington since 1990.  This is one of nine glaciers we are continuing to …

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11 December 2015

Climate Driven Retreat of Mount Baker Glaciers and Changing Water Resources

We have spent 300 nights in a tent just on this mountain collecting data from 1984-2015 in this study that the book documents. This post has the same title as a book released last month as part of the Springer Briefs in Climate Studies series.  The nice thing about publishing research emerging from 30 years of field research in a book  is that I had a chance to include 104 …

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21 May 2015

Nooksack River: Glacier Runoff Maintains Suitable Aquatic Conditions for Salmon

Illustration from Megan Pelto above left Sholes Glacier from our runoff measurement station above right. Glaciers are a critical water resource in the North Cascades of Washington for hydropower, irrigation , municipal supply and aquatic life. In dry summers glaciers play an even larger role in the overall water budget and maintaining suitable aquatic conditions.  The summer of 2015 will pose particular challenges due to the drought emergency that is likely to …

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5 October 2014

Rainbow Glacier: Record Ablation in 2014 for 1984-2014 Period

From 1984-2014 we have monitored the mass balance of the Rainbow Glacier on Mount Baker, North Cascade Range, Washington. This entails detailed monitoring of snowpack depth in July and August, and subsequent ablation to the end of the melt season. On July 13th the glacier was completely snowcovered. By August 10th the snowline had risen to 1575 m, with 1.4 m of ablation since July 13th. We measured the snowdepth …

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6 May 2014

Nooksack River Glacier Runoff Importance

If glaciers did not change in response to climate, we would not have to think about their role in water resources in the watersheds that they reside. During the last two years in an ongoing study with the Nooksack Indian Tribe we have been working on quantifying the role glaciers play in that watershed. Glaciers comprise the headwaters of the Nooksack River and are a critical source of summer discharge …

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27 December 2012

Roosevelt Glacier Retreat, Mount Baker, Washington

Roosevelt Glacier is on the northwest side of Mount Baker, Washington with its accumulation zone joined with the Coleman Glacier. My first visit to Roosevelt Glacier was in 1984, when the glacier had just completed a 30 year period of advance from 1949-1979.  Since 1979 the glacier has been retreating, image below. This post examines Google Earth imagery from 1993, 2003 and 2009 along with field observations from the glacier. …

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20 July 2012

Mount Baker Glacier Mass Balance

Just published in Hydrologic Process is a paper from our 28 years of research on Mount Baker. “Mass Balance Loss of Mount Baker, Washington glaciers 1990-2010” Mass balance is really the annual bank account for the glacier. Deposits are snow accumulation, withdraws are melting. A glacier that has greater income has a positive mass balance and increases in volume. Greater melting leads to losses in volume. Mount Baker,North Cascades, WA …

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24 May 2012

Deming Glacier Terminus Retreat

The reduction in width and crevassing in the Deming Glacier Icefall indicates a reduced flow into the terminus reach of the Deming Glacier. This post examines the retreat of the Deming Glacier from 1984-2010. The glacier has retreated significantly as have all 47 glaciers we observe in the field. The retreat parallels that of other Mount Baker glaciers, Boulder Glacier and Easton Glacier (Pelto,2006). Each year since 1990 we have …

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22 July 2011

Mazama Glacier Retreat, North Cascades, Washington

Mazama Glacier flows down the north side of Mount Baker, a strato volcano in the North Cascades of Washington. The glacier begins at the summit plateau, 3260 meters, and terminates at the head of Wells Creek 1470 meters. This is a glacier we visit briefly each summer since 1984, but is not a focus of detailed observations. In 2010 we descended from its divide with Rainbow Glacier at 2100 meters …

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