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You are browsing the archive for North Cascade Glaciers Archives - Page 2 of 3 - From a Glacier's Perspective.

April 6, 2018

North Cascade Winter Snowpack Status 2018

2018 Winter Freezing levels at Mount Baker (November 2017-March 2018).  The accumulation season on most Northern Hemisphere glaciers extends through April. The key benchmark for snowpack water assessment in alpine ranges is typically April 1, as that is the average maximum snowpack for an alpine range.  In 2018 the North Cascade Range had freezing levels above the long term mean, but at the 21st century mean. A result of higher …

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March 15, 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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March 2, 2018

Lower Curtis Glacier Annual Terminus Response to Climate Change

Side view of Lower Curtis Glacier in 2013, 2015 and 2017, illustrating the reduced slope and height of glacier front in just four years. Terminus observations have been reported to the WGMS from 2500 glaciers with 46,500 specific observations since the late 19th century, which you can explore with the glacier viewer application. Here we examine what it looks like to report from a glacier each year.  I have visited this …

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October 3, 2017

34th Annual, 2017 North Cascade Glacier Climate Project Field Season

2017 Field Season Video For the thirty fourth consecutive summer we headed 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 loss is 19 m of water equivalent thickness, which is over …

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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 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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August 22, 2016

Looking Inside a Glacier

Here we provide a visual look inside a glacier in the North Cascades of Washington.  Glaciers are not all the same, but the key internal ingredients in summer typically are in varied ratios: ice, meltwater, sediment and biologic material.  In this case there are torrents of water pouring through the interior of the glacier, generated at the surface the day we are filming.  We do measure the discharge and velocity …

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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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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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April 10, 2016

North Cascade Winter Snowpack 2016, 33rd Field Season Approaches

This 2016 winter has proved much different than in 2015.  In 2015 exceptional warmth led to record low snowpack despite above average precipitation.  The warmth is illustrated using the North American Freezing Level Tracker for our Sholes Glacier site. The highest mean level by far is 2015, 500 m above average versus 180 m above average this winter.  The low snowpack combined with a long warm melt season in 2015 …

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