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You are browsing the archive for climate change glacier retreat.

September 20, 2016

South Sawyer Glacier Retreat and Separation, Alaska

Comparison of South Sawyer Terminus position and unnamed glacier just to the south.  Red arrows are the 1985 terminus and yellow arrows the 2016 position of each terminus.  South Sawyer Glacier is a 50 km long tidewater glacier terminating at the head of Tracy Arm fjord in Southeast Alaska.  The winding fjord surrounded by steep mountains is fed by Sawyer and South Sawyer Glacier is home to stellar sea lions, humpback …

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September 14, 2016

Herbert Glacier Retreat, Alaska 1984-2016

Comparison of Herbert Glacier terminus position in Landsat images from 1984 and 2016. Red arrow 1984 terminus, yellow arrow 2016 terminus and pink arrow a tributary that has separated.  Herbert Glacier drains the west side of the 4000 square kilometer Juneau Icefield in Southeast Alaska.  It is the glacier just north of the more well known Mendenhall Glacier and just south of Eagle Glacier.  It is also the first glacier …

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September 8, 2016

World Glacier Monitoring Service 30th Anniversary

The numbers on the left y-axis depict quantities of glacial mass loss from the WGMS and sea level rise, and the suns across the horizon contain numbers that represent the global increase in temperature, coinciding with the timeline on the lower x-axis From Jill Pelto The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) celebrated 30 years of achievement last week. I have had the privilege of being the United States representative to the …

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August 25, 2016

Kronotsky Peninsula, Kamchatka Glacier Fragmentation/Retreat

The Kronotsky Peninsula is on the east coast of Kamchatka and has an small concentration of alpine glaciers.  A recent paper by Lynch et al (2016) indicates a significant recession during the start of the 21st century in Kamchatka.  They note a 24% loss in area, leading to fragmentation and an increase in the number of ice masses that could be considered glaciers.  Lynch et al (2016)  further note that the …

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August 2, 2016

Glaciers in BAMS State of Climate 2015

Decrease in Glacier Mass Balance uses measurements from 1980-2014 of the average mass balance for a group of North Cascade, WA glaciers. Mass balance is the annual budget for the glaciers: total snow accumulation minus total snow ablation. Not only are mass balances consistently negative, they are also continually decreasing. Glaciers have been one of the key and most iconic examples of the impact of global warming.   BAMS State of …

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July 31, 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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July 28, 2016

Sater Glacier, Alaska Not Retaining Snowcover

2012 Google Earth Image. Purple arrows indicate areas where the margin is receding well above the lowest terminus. Sater Glacier is in the Okpilak River watershed of the Brooks Range, Alaska. It is named for John Sater an early geologist working in the Brooks Range and on the nearby McCall Glacier. Here we examine Landsat imagery from 1987-2016 to identify changes in the glacier. Matt Nolan, U. Alaska-Fairbanks,  has provided links to the …

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July 21, 2016

Sjögren Glacier Fast Flow, Fast Retreat, Antarctica

Sjögren Glacier comparison in Landsat images from 2001 and 2016, red dots indicate terminus position, Point A, B, C and D are in fixed locations.  Sjögren Glacier flows east from the northern Antarctic Peninsula and prior to the 1980’s was a principal feeder glacier to Prince Gustav Ice Shelf.  This 1600 square kilometer ice shelf disintegrated in the mid-1990’s and was gone in 1995 (Cook and Vaughan, 2010). Scambos et al (2014) …

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July 18, 2016

Chaupi Orko Glaciers, Bolivia Extensive Recession

Landsat comparison of the Chaupi Orko Glaciers from 1988, 1999 and 2015.  Red arrows indicate 1988 terminus and yellow arrows the 2015 terminus location. Chaupi Orko is a 6044 m Andean peak in the Cordillera Apolobamba on the Peru-Bolivia border with glaciers radiating from it summit.  Here we examine a pair of glaciers on the southern side of the mountain that drain into Laguna Suches, which is split by the …

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June 29, 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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