The retreat of glaciers since 1850, worldwide and rapid, affects the availability of fresh water for irrigation and domestic use, mountain recreation, animals and plants that depend on glacier-melt, and in the longer term, the level of the oceans. "Glacial" and "Glaciation" redirect here For the geological periods see Glacial period. Studied by glaciologists, the temporal coincidence of glacier retreat with the measured increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases is often cited as an evidentiary underpinning of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming. Glaciology (from Middle French dialect (Franco-Provençal glace, "ice" or Latin glacies, "frost ice" and Greek λόγος Greenhouse gases are gaseous constituents of the atmosphere bothnatural and anthropogenic that absorb and emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of thermal infrared Anthropogenic effects processes objects or materials are those that are derived from Human activities as opposed to those occurring in Natural environments without Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Mid-latitude mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, Alps, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Range, and the southern Andes, as well as isolated tropical summits such as Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, are showing some of the largest proportionate glacial loss. Mountain peaks of the Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, often called the Rockies, are a Mountain range in western North America. The Andes form the world's longest exposed Mountain range. They lie as a continuous chain of highland along the western coast of South America. (IPCC)(Mölg)
The Little Ice Age was a period from about 1550 to 1850 when the world experienced relatively cooler temperatures compared to the present. The Little Ice Age (LIA was a period of cooling occurring after a warmer era known as the Medieval Warm Period or Medieval Climate Optimum Subsequently, until about 1940, glaciers around the world retreated as the climate warmed. Glacial retreat slowed and even reversed, in many cases, between 1950 and 1980 as a slight global cooling occurred. Global cooling in general can refer to an overall cooling of the Earth. However, since 1980 a significant global warming has led to glacier retreat becoming increasingly rapid and ubiquitous, so much so that some glaciers have disappeared altogether, and the existence of a great number of the remaining glaciers of the world is threatened. In locations such as the Andes of South America and Himalayas in Asia, the demise of glaciers in these regions will have potential impact on water supplies. South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a The retreat of mountain glaciers, notably in western North America, Asia, the Alps, Indonesia and Africa, and tropical and subtropical regions of South America, has been used to provide qualitative evidence for the rise in global temperatures since the late 19th century. The Republic of Indonesia ( (Republik Indonesia is a Country in Southeast Asia. (IPCC2) (NSIDC) The recent substantial retreat and an acceleration of the rate of retreat since 1995 of a number of key outlet glaciers of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, may foreshadow a rise in sea level, having a potentially dramatic effect on coastal regions worldwide. "Glacial" and "Glaciation" redirect here For the geological periods see Glacial period. The Greenland Ice Sheet is a vast body of ice covering 171 million km² roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet ( WAIS) is the segment of the continental ice sheet that covers West (or Lesser Antarctica, the portion of Antarctica An ice sheet is a mass of Glacier Ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50000 km² (20000 mile²) Sea-level rise is an increase in Sea level. Multiple complex factors may influence this change
Crucial to the survival of a glacier is its mass balance, the difference between accumulation and ablation (melting and sublimation). See also Retreat of glaciers since 1850 Crucial to the survival of a Glacier is its mass balance, the difference between accumulation Glacier ice accumulation occurs through accumulation of Snow and other frozen precipitation, as well as through other means including Rime ice (freezing Sublimation of an element or compound is a transition from the Solid to Gas phase with no intermediate liquid stage (Mote and Kaser) Climate change may cause variations in both temperature and snowfall, causing changes in mass balance. Climate change is any long-term significant change in the “average weather” that a given region experiences A glacier with a sustained negative balance is out of equilibrium and will retreat. A glacier with sustained positive balance is also out of equilibrium, and will advance to reestablish equilibrium. Currently, there are a few advancing glaciers, although their modest growth rates suggest that they are not far from equilibrium. (Trabant)
Glacier retreat results in the loss of the low-elevation region of the glacier. Since higher elevations are cooler, the disappearance of the lowest portion of the glacier reduces overall ablation, thereby increasing mass balance and potentially reestablishing equilibrium. However, if the mass balance of a significant portion of the accumulation zone of the glacier is negative, it is in disequilibrium with the climate and will melt away without a colder climate and or an increase in frozen precipitation.
The key symptom of a glacier in disequilibrium is thinning along the entire length of the glacier. (Pelto)(Pelto and Hartzell) For example, Easton Glacier (see below) will likely shrink to half its size, but at a slowing rate of reduction, and stabilize at that size, despite the warmer temperature, over a few decades. However, the Grinnell Glacier (pictured above) will shrink at an increasing rate until it disappears. The difference is that the upper section of Easton Glacier remains healthy and snow covered, while even the upper section of the Grinnell Glacier is bare, is melting and has thinned. Small glaciers with minimal altitude gain are most likely to fall into disequilibrium with the climate.
Methods for measuring glacier retreat include staking terminus location, global positioning mapping, aerial mapping, and laser altimetry. A glacier terminus, or snout, is the end of a Glacier at any given point in time Basic concept of GPS operation A GPS receiver calculates its position by carefully timing the signals sent by the constellation of GPS Satellites high above the Earth Aerial survey is a Geomatics method of collecting information by utilising Aerial photography or from Remote sensing Imagery using other bands An altimeter is an instrument used to measure the Altitude of an object above a fixed level
Mid-latitude glaciers are located either between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle, or between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. The Antarctic Circle is one of the five major circles (or parallels of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. These two regions support glacier ice from mountain glaciers, valley glaciers and even smaller icecaps, which are usually located in higher mountainous regions. All of these glaciers are located in mountain ranges, notably the Himalayas; the Alps; Rocky Mountains and Pacific Coast Ranges of North America; the Patagonian Andes in South America; and mountain ranges in the island nation of New Zealand. Mountain peaks of the Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, often called the Rockies, are a Mountain range in western North America. The Pacific Coast Ranges are the series of Mountain ranges that stretch along the west coast of North America from Alaska to northern and central Mexico Llao LLaojpg|thumb|250px| Lake Nahuel Huapi, near Bariloche, Argentina New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Glaciers in these latitudes are more widespread and tend to be more massive the closer they are located to the polar regions. These glaciers are the most widely studied over the past 150 years. As is true with the glaciers located in the tropical zone, virtually all the glaciers in the mid-latitudes are in a state of negative mass balance and are retreating.
The World Glacier Monitoring Service reports on changes in the terminus, or lower-elevation end, of glaciers from around the world every five years. The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS was started in 1986 combining the two former services PSFG (Permanent Service on Fluctuations of Glaciers and TTS/WGI (Temporal (WGMS) In their 1995–2000 edition, they noted the terminal point variations of glaciers across the Alps. Over the five-year period from 1995 to 2000, 103 of 110 glaciers examined in Switzerland, 95 of 99 glaciers in Austria, all 69 glaciers in Italy, and all 6 glaciers in France were in retreat. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation Austria (Österreich ( officially the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. French glaciers experienced a sharp retreat in the years 1942–53 followed by advances up to 1980, and then further retreat beginning in 1982. As an example, since 1870 the Argentière Glacier and Mont Blanc Glacier have receded by 1,150 (3,800 ft) and 1,400 m (4,600 ft), respectively. Mont Blanc Massif The Mont Blanc ( French for white mountain) or Monte Bianco ( Italian 'White Mountain' also The largest glacier in France, the Mer de Glace, which is 11 km (7 miles) long and 400 m (1,300 ft) thick, has lost 8. The Mer de Glace ( Sea of Ice) is a Glacier located on the northern slopes of the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps. 3% of its length, or 1 km (0. 6 miles), in 130 years, and thinned by 27%, or 150 m (500 ft), in the midsection of the glacier since 1907. The Bossons Glacier in Chamonix, France, has retreated 1,200 m (3,900 ft) from extents observed in the early 20th century. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or more commonly Chamonix (ʃamɔni in French is a Town and commune in eastern France, in the Haute-Savoie In 2005, of 91 Swiss glaciers studied, 84 retreated from where their terminal points had been in 2004 and the remaining 7 showed no change. (MSNBC)
Other researchers have found that glaciers across the Alps appear to be retreating at a faster rate than a few decades ago. In 2006, the Swiss Glacier survey of 85 glaciers found 84 retreating and 1 advancing. The Trift Glacier had retreated over 500 m (1,600 ft) just in the three years of 2003 to 2005, which is 10% of its total length. The Grosser Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in Switzerland, has retreated 2,600 m (8,500 ft) since 1880. Aletsch Glacier, the largest Glacier in the Alps, covers more than 120 square kilometres (more than 45 square miles in southern Switzerland. This rate of retreat has also increased since 1980, with 30%, or 800 m (2,600 ft), of the total retreat occurring in the last 20% of the time period. (SFIoTZ) Similarly, of the glaciers in the Italian Alps, only about a third were in retreat in 1980, while by 1999, 89% of these glaciers were retreating. In 2005, the Italian Glacier Commission found that 123 glaciers were retreating, 1 advancing and 6 stationary. (IGC) Repeat photography of glaciers in the Alps provides clear evidence that glaciers in this region have retreated significantly in the past several decades. (Alean) Morteratsch Glacier, Switzerland is one key example. The Morteratsch Glacier (romansh Vadret da Morteratsch) is the largest Glacier by area in the Bernina Range of the Bündner Alps in Switzerland The yearly measurements of the length changes started in 1878. The overall retreat from 1878 to 1998 accounts for a total of 2 km with a mean annual retreat rate of approximately 17 m/y. This long-term average was markedly surpassed in recent years receding 30 m/y from 1999–2005. (SFIoTZ) One major concern which has in the past had great impact on lives and property is the death and destruction from a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF). A glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF can occur when a lake contained by a glacier (called Jökulhlaup if it was a Subglacial lake, Marginal lake drainage Glaciers stockpile rock and soil that has been carved from mountainsides at their terminal end. These debris piles often form dams that impound water behind them and form glacial lakes as the glaciers melt and retreat from their maximum extents. These terminal moraines are frequently unstable and have been known to burst if overfilled or displaced by earthquakes, landslides or avalanches. A terminal moraine, also called end moraine, is a Moraine that forms at the end of the Glacier called the snout If a glacier has a rapid melting cycle during warmer months, the terminal moraine may not be strong enough to continue to impound the rising water behind it, leading to a massive localized flood. This is an increasing risk due to the creation and expansion of glacial lakes resulting from glacier retreat. Past floods have been deadly and have resulted in enormous property damage. Towns and villages in steep, narrow valleys that are downstream from glacial lakes are at the greatest risk. In 1892 a GLOF released some 200,000 m³ (260,000 yd³) of water from the lake of the Glacier de Tête Rousse, resulting in the deaths of 200 people in the French town of Saint Gervais. (Pelto5) GLOFs have been known to occur in every region of the world where glaciers are located. Continued glacier retreat is expected to create and expand glacial lakes, increasing the danger of future GLOFs.
Though the glaciers of the Alps have received more attention from glaciologists than in other areas of Europe, research indicates that throughout most of Europe, glaciers are rapidly retreating. In the Kebnekaise Mountains of northern Sweden, a study of 16 glaciers between 1990 and 2001 found that 14 glaciers were retreating, one was advancing and one was stable. "Sverige" redirects here For other uses see Sweden (disambiguation and Sverige (disambiguation. (GSU) During the 20th century, glaciers in Norway retreated overall with brief periods of advance around 1910, 1925 and in the 1990s. Norway ( Norwegian: Norge ( Bokmål) or Noreg ( Nynorsk) officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Constitutional In the 1990s, 11 of 25 Norwegian glaciers observed had advanced due to several consecutive winters with above normal precipitation. However, following several consecutive years of little winter precipitation since 2000, and record warmth during the summers of 2002 and 2003, Norwegian glaciers have decreased significantly since the 1990s. By 2005 only 1 of the 25 glaciers monitored in Norway was advancing, two were stationary and 22 were retreating. In 2006 glacier mass balances were very negative in Norway and of the 26 glaciers examined, 24 were retreating with one stationary and one advancing. (Kjøllmoen) The Norwegian Engabreen Glacier has retreated 185 m (603 ft) since 1999, while the Brenndalsbreen and Rembesdalsskåka glaciers have retreated 276 m (905 ft) and 250 m (820 ft), respectively, since 2000. The Briksdalsbreen glacier retreated 96 m (314 ft) in 2004 alone—the largest annual retreat recorded for this glacier since monitoring began in 1900. This figure was exceeded in 2006 with five glaciers retreating over 100 m from the fall of 2005 to the fall of 2006. Four outlets from the Jostedalsbreen ice cap, Kjenndalsbreen, Brenndalsbreen, Briksdalsbreen and Bergsetbreen had a frontal retreat of more than 100 metres. Gråfjellsbrea, an outlet from Folgefonna, had a retreat of almost 100 metres. Overall, from 1999 to 2005, Briksdalsbreen retreated 336 m (1102 ft)(Kjøllmoen)(CICaER)
The Himalayas and other mountain chains of central Asia support large regions that are glaciated. These glaciers provide critical water supplies to arid countries such as Mongolia, western China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mongolia (mɒŋˈɡoʊliə, literally Mongol country/nation,) is a Landlocked Country in East China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, As is true with other glaciers worldwide, the glaciers of Asia are experiencing a rapid decline in mass. The loss of these glaciers would have a tremendous impact on the ecosystem of the region.
A WWF report concluded that 67% of all Himalayan glaciers are retreating. In examining 612 glaciers in China between 1950 and 1970, 53% of the glaciers studied were retreating. After 1990, 95% of these glaciers were measured to be retreating, indicating that retreat of these glaciers was becoming more widespread. (Rai, Guring, et alia) Glaciers in the Mount Everest region of the Himalayas are all in a state of retreat. Mount Everest, also called Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा meaning Head of the Sky) or Chomolungma, Qomolangma or Zhumulangma (in The Khumbu Glacier, which is one of the main routes to the base of Mount Everest, has retreated 5 km (3. The Khumbu Glacier is located in the Khumbu region of northeastern Nepal and flows down from the Khumbu Icefall on the southern slopes of 1 miles) since 1953. The Rongbuk Glacier, draining the north side of Mount Everest into Tibet, has been retreating 20 m (65 ft) per year. ImageHimalaya_annotatedjpg|thumb|250px|right|Rongbuk Glacier and Mount Everest as seen from the International Space Station Definitions of Tibet See also Definitions of Tibet Name In English The English word Tibet, like the word for Tibet in most European In India the Gangotri Glacier, which is a significant source of water for the Ganges River, retreated 34 m (111 ft) per year between 1970 and 1996, and has averaged a loss of 30 m (100 ft) per year since 2000. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Gangotri Glacier is located in Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, India in a region bordering China. The Ganges (ˈgænʤiːz also Ganga, Devanāgarī: hi गंगा in most Indian languages) is the major river in the Indian subcontinent With the retreat of glaciers in the Himalayas, a number of glacial lakes have been created. A growing concern is the potential for Glacial Lake Outburst Floods—researchers estimate 20 glacial lakes in Nepal and 24 in Bhutan pose hazards to human populations should their terminal moraine dams fail. Nepal (नेपाल) is a Landlocked country in South Asia. One glacial lake identified as potentially hazardous is Bhutan's Raphstreng Tsho, which measured 1. 6 km (0. 99 mile) long, 0. 96 km (0. 59 mile) wide and was 80 m (262 ft) deep in 1986. By 1995 the lake had swollen to be 1. 94 km (1. 20 mile) long, 1. 13 km (0. 70 mile) wide and a depth of 107 m (351 ft). In 1994 a GLOF from Luggye Tsho, a glacial lake adjacent to Raphstreng Tsho, killed 23 people downstream. (UNEP)
Glaciers in the Ak-shirak Range in Kyrgyzstan experienced a slight loss between 1943 and 1977 and an accelerated loss of 20% of their remaining mass between 1977 and 2001. Kyrgyzstan (ˈkɻ̩gɪztɑn (AmE or /'kɝgəztan/ (BrE Kyrgyz: Кыргызстан; Russian: Киргизия or Киргизстан or Кыргызстан (Khromova, Dyurgerov and Barry) In the Tien Shan mountains, which Kyrgyzstan shares with China and Kazakhstan, studies in the northern potions of that mountain range show that the glaciers that help supply water to this arid region have been losing nearly two cubic km (0. The Tian Shan (天山 Pinyin: Tiān Shān "celestial mountains" also commonly spelled Tien Shan, is a Mountain range located in Central Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the 47 mile³) of ice per year between 1955 and 2000. The University of Oxford study also reported that an average of 1. The University of Oxford (informally "Oxford University" or simply "Oxford" located in the city of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England is the 28% of the volume of these glaciers had been lost per year between 1974 and 1990. (Kirby)
To the south of the Tien Shan, the Pamirs mountain range located primarily in Tajikistan has many thousands of glaciers, all of which are in a general state of retreat. The Pamir Mountains are located in Central Asia and are formed by the junction or Knot of the Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tajikistan (təˈdʒɪkɨstæn or /təˈdʒiːkɨstæn/ Тоҷикистон tɔʤikɪsˈtɔn or, Persian تاجیکستان taajikestaan officially the Republic of During the 20th century, the glaciers of Tajikistan lost 20 km³ (4. 8 mile³) of ice. The 70 km (43 mile) long Fedchenko Glacier, which is the largest in Tajikistan and the largest non-polar glacier on Earth, lost 1. The Fedchenko Glacier ( Russian Федченко, also transliterated Fedcenko) is a large Glacier in the Pamir Mountains 4% of its length, or 1 km (0. 6 mile), 2 km³ (0. 5 mile³) of its mass, and the glaciated area was reduced by 11 km² (4. 2 mile²) during the 20th century. Similarly, the neighboring Skogatch Glacier lost 8% of its total mass between 1969 and 1986. The country of Tajikistan and neighboring countries of the Pamir Range are highly dependent upon glacial runoff to ensure river flow during droughts and the dry seasons experienced every year. The continued demise of glacier ice will result in a short-term increase, followed by a long-term decrease in glacial melt water flowing into rivers and streams. (Novikov)
In New Zealand the mountain glaciers have been in general retreat since 1890, with an acceleration of this retreat since 1920. Most of the glaciers have thinned measurably and have reduced in size, and the snow accumulation zones have risen in elevation as the 20th century progressed. During the period 1971–75, Ivory Glacier receded 30 m (98 ft) at the glacial terminus, and about 26% of the surface area of the glacier was lost over the same period. Since 1980 numerous small glacial lakes were created behind the new terminal moraines of several of these glaciers. Glaciers such as Classen, Godley and Douglas now all have new glacial lakes below their terminal locations due to the glacial retreat over the past 20 years. Satellite imagery indicates that these lakes are continuing to expand. There has been significant and ongoing ice volume losses on the largest New Zealand glaciers, including Tasman, Ivory, Classen, Mueller, Maud, Hooker, Grey, Godley, Ramsay, Murchison, Therma, Volta and Douglas Glaciers. The retreat of these glaciers has been marked by expanding proglacial lakes and terminus region thinning. (Salinger)
Several glaciers, notably the much visited Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers in New Zealand, have periodically advanced, especially during the 1990s, but the scale of these advances is small when compared to 20th-century retreat. The Fox Glacier ( Te Moeka o Tuawe in Māori) is a 12 km long Glacier located in Westland National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand The Franz Josef ( Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere in Māori) is a 12 km long Glacier located in Westland National Park on the West Coast of Both glaciers are currently more than 2. 5 km shorter than a century ago. These large, rapidly flowing glaciers situated on steep slopes have been very reactive to small mass-balance changes. A few years of conditions favorable to glacier advance, such as increased snowfall and cooler temperatures, are rapidly echoed in a corresponding advance, followed by equally rapid retreat when those favorable conditions end. (USGS3) The glaciers that have been advancing in a few locations in New Zealand have been doing so due to a temporary weather change associated with El Niño, which has brought more precipitation and cloudier, cooler summers since 2002. El Niño-Southern Oscillation ( ENSO; commonly referred to as simply El Niño) is a global coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon (Goodenough)
North American glaciers are primarily located along the spine of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada, and the Pacific Coast Ranges extending from northern California to Alaska. North Cascades National Park is a US National Park located in the state of Washington. California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. Alaska ( Аляска Alyaska) is a state in the United States of America, in the northwest of the North American continent While Greenland is geologically associated with North America, it is also a part of the Arctic region. Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat meaning "Land of the Greenlanders" Grønland is a self-governing Danish Province located between the The Arctic is the Region around the Earth 's North Pole, opposite the Antarctic region around the South Pole. Aside from the few tidewater glaciers such as Taku Glacier, that are in the advance stage of their tidewater glacier cycle prevalent along the coast of Alaska, virtually all the glaciers of North America are in a state of retreat. Taku Glacier is a Tidewater glacier located in Taku Inlet in the U The tidewater glacier cycle is the typically centuries-long behavior of tidewater glaciers that consists of recurring periods of advance alternating with rapid retreat and punctuated The observed retreat rate has increased rapidly since approximately 1980, and overall each decade since has seen greater rates of retreat than the preceding one. There are also small remnant glaciers scattered throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains of California and Nevada. The Sierra Nevada ( Spanish for "Snowy Range" is a Mountain range located in the U Nevada ( is a state located in the western region of the United States of America.
The Cascade Range of western North America extends from southern British Columbia in Canada to northern California. British Columbia (ˌbrɪtɨʃ kəˈlʌmbiə ( BC) ( (la Colombie-Britannique C Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page Excepting Alaska, about half of the glacial area in the U. S. is contained in the more than 700 glaciers of the North Cascades, a portion of the range between the Canadian border and I-90 in central Washington. North Cascades National Park is a US National Park located in the state of Washington. Interstate 90 (I-90 is the longest interstate highway in the United States at nearly 3100 miles (5000 kilometers Washington ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. These glaciers store as much water as that contained in all the lakes and reservoirs in the rest of the state, and provide much of the stream and river flow in the dry summer months, approximating some 870,000 m³ (1,140,000 yd³).
As recently as 1975, many North Cascade glaciers were advancing due to cooler weather and increased precipitation that occurred from 1944 to 1976. However, by 1987 all the North Cascade glaciers were retreating, and the pace of the glacier retreat has increased each decade since the mid-1970s. Between 1984 and 2005, the North Cascade glaciers lost an average of more than 12. 5 m in thickness and between 20% and 40% of their volume. (Pelto)
Glaciologists researching the North Cascades glaciers have found that all 47 monitored glaciers are receding and that four glaciers—Spider Glacier, Lewis Glacier (pictured), Milk Lake Glacier, and David Glacier—have disappeared completely since 1985. The White Chuck Glacier (near Glacier Peak) is a particularly dramatic example. Glacier Peak (known in the Sauk Indian dialect of Lushootseed as "Tda-ko-buh-ba" or "Takobia") is the most remote of the five major Volcanoes in the The glacier shrank from 3. 1 km² (1. 19 miles²) in 1958 to 0. 9 km² (0. 34 miles²) in 2002. Similarly, the Boulder Glacier on the southeast flank of Mount Baker retreated 450 m (1,476 ft) from 1987 to 2005, leaving barren terrain behind. Boulder Glacier is located on the southeast slope of Mount Baker, a Stratovolcano near the Pacific coast of North America in the Cascade Range of Washington Mount Baker (elevation) is an active glaciated andesitic Stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascades of This retreat has occurred during a period of reduced winter snowfall and higher summer temperatures. In this region of the Cascades, winter snowpack has declined 25% since 1946, and summer temperatures have risen 0. 7 °C (1. The Celsius Temperature scale was previously known as the centigrade scale. 2 °F) during the same period. Fahrenheit is a temperature scale named after Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736 a German Physicist who proposed it in 1724 The reduced snowpack has occurred despite a small increase in winter precipitation; thus, it reflects warmer winter temperatures leading to rainfall and melting on glaciers even during the winter. As of 2005, 67% of the North Cascade glaciers observed are in disequilibrium and will not survive the continuation of the present climate. These glaciers will eventually disappear unless temperatures fall and frozen precipitation increases. The remaining glaciers are expected to stabilize, unless the climate continues to warm, but will be much reduced in size. (Pelto3)(Pelto4)
On the sheltered slopes of the highest peaks of Glacier National Park in Montana, its eponymous glaciers are diminishing rapidly. Glacier National Park is located in the US state of Montana, bordering the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Montana ( is a state in the Western United States. One-third of the state in the western part contains numerous mountain ranges (approximately 77 named of the northern The area of each glacier has been mapped by the National Park Service and the U. The National Park Service ( NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation S. Geological Survey for decades. Comparing photographs taken in the mid-19th century with contemporary images provides ample evidence that the glaciers in the park have retreated notably since 1850. Repeat photography over the decades since clearly show that glaciers throughout the park such as Grinnell Glacier are all retreating. Grinnell Glacier is located in the heart of Glacier National Park (U The larger glaciers are now approximately a third of their former size when first studied in 1850, and numerous smaller glaciers have disappeared completely. Only 27% of the 99 km² (38 miles²) area of Glacier National Park covered by glaciers in 1850 remained covered by 1993. (USGS) Researchers believe that by the year 2030, the vast majority of glacial ice in Glacier National Park will be gone unless current climate patterns reverse their course. (USGS5) Grinnell Glacier is just one of many glaciers in Glacier National Park that have been well documented by photographs for many decades. The photographs below clearly demonstrate the retreat of this glacier since 1938.
1938 T. J. Hileman GNP
1981 Carl Key (USGS)
1998 Dan Fagre (USGS)
2005 Blase Reardon (USGS)
The semiarid climate of Wyoming still manages to support about a dozen small glaciers within Grand Teton National Park, which all show evidence of retreat over the past 50 years. The State of Wyoming ( is a sparsely populated state in the western region of the United States. Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park located in northwestern Wyoming, south of Yellowstone National Park. Schoolroom Glacier, located slightly southwest of Grand Teton, one of the more easily reached glaciers in the park, is expected to disappear by 2025. Schoolroom Glacier is the small glacier located in Grand Teton National Park in the U Grand Teton is the highest Mountain within Grand Teton National Park, and the second highest in the U (Peterson) Research between 1950 and 1999 demonstrated that the glaciers in Bridger-Teton National Forest and Shoshone National Forest in the Wind River Range shrank by over a third of their size during that period. Bridger-Teton National Forest is located in western Wyoming, United States. Shoshone National Forest () is the first federally protected National Forest in the United States and covers nearly 2 The Wind River Range (or "Winds" for short is a Mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming in the United States. Photographs indicate that the glaciers today are only half the size as when first photographed in the late 1890s. Research also indicates that the glacial retreat was proportionately greater in the 1990s than in any other decade over the last 100 years. Gannett Glacier on the northeast slope of Gannett Peak is the largest single glacier in the Rocky Mountains south of Canada. Gannett Glacier is the largest Glacier in the Rocky Mountains within the United States. Gannett Peak is the highest peak in the US state of Wyoming and straddles the boundary between Fremont and Sublette Counties Mountain peaks of the Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, often called the Rockies, are a Mountain range in western North America. It has reportedly lost over 50% of its volume since 1920, with almost half of that loss occurring since 1980. Glaciologists believe the remaining glaciers in Wyoming will disappear by the middle of the 21st century if the current climate patterns continue. (WWRDSL)
In the Canadian Rockies, the glaciers are generally larger and more widespread than they are to the south in Montana. The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. One of the more accessible glaciers in the Canadian Rockies is the Athabasca Glacier, which is an outlet glacier of the 325 km² (125 miles²) Columbia Icefield. Mount Athabasca is located in the Columbia Icefield of Jasper National Park in Canada The Columbia Icefield is an Icefield located in the Canadian Rockies, astride the Continental Divide of North America. The Athabasca Glacier has retreated 1,500 m (4,921 ft) since the late 19th century. The rate of retreat for this glacier has increased since 1980, following a period of slow retreat from 1950 to 1980. The Peyto Glacier in Alberta covers an area of about 12 km² (4. Peyto Glacier is located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, approximately 90 km (56 miles northwest of the town of Banff, and Alberta (ælˈbɝtə is one of Canada's prairie provinces. It became a province on September 1 1905 63 miles²), and retreated rapidly during the first half of the 20th century, stabilized by 1966, and resumed shrinking in 1976. (CCIN) Illecillewaet Glacier in British Columbia's Glacier National Park (Canada) has retreated 2 km (1. Glacier National Park is one of seven national parks in British Columbia, Canada. 25 miles) since first photographed in 1887.
There are thousands of glaciers in Alaska, though only a relative few of them have been named. The Columbia Glacier near Valdez in Prince William Sound has retreated 15 km (9. The Columbia Glacier is a Glacier in Prince William Sound on the south coast of the U Valdez ( is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the US state of Alaska. Prince William Sound is a sound of the Gulf of Alaska on the south coast of the U 3 miles) in the last 25 years. Icebergs calved off this glacier were a partial cause of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, as the oil tanker had changed course to avoid the icebergs. The Valdez Glacier is in the same area, and though it does not calve, it has also retreated significantly. "A 2005 aerial survey of Alaskan coastal glaciers identified more than a dozen glaciers, many former tidewater and calving glaciers, including Grand Plateau, Alsek, Bear, and Excelsior Glaciers that are rapidly retreating. Of 2,000 glaciers observed, 99% are retreating. " (Molnia2) Icy Bay in Alaska is fed by three large glaciers—Guyot, Yahtse, and Tyndall Glaciers—all of which have experienced a loss in length and thickness and, consequently, a loss in area. Tyndall Glacier became separated from the retreating Guyot Glacier in the 1960s and has retreated 24 km (14. 9 miles) since, averaging more than 500 m (1,640 ft) per year. (Molnia)
The Juneau Icefield Research Program has monitored the outlet glaciers of the Juneau Icefield since 1946. The Juneau Icefield or Juneau Icecap is an Ice field located just north of Juneau, Alaska and continues north through the border with British On the west side of the ice field, the terminus of the Mendenhall Glacier, which flows into suburban Juneau, Alaska, has retreated 580 m (1,902 ft). Mendenhall Glacier is a Glacier about 12 miles (19 km long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles (19 km from downtown Juneau in the southeast Of the nineteen glaciers of the Juneau Icefield, eighteen are retreating, and one, the Taku Glacier, is advancing. Eleven of the glaciers have retreated more than 1. 0 km (0. 6 miles) since 1948 — Antler Glacier, 5. 4 km (3. 4 miles); Gilkey Glacier, 3. 5 km (2. 2 miles); Norris Glacier, 1. 1 km (0. 7 miles) and Lemon Creek Glacier, 1. 5 km (0. 9 miles). (Pelto6) Taku Glacier has been advancing since at least 1890, when naturalist John Muir observed a large iceberg calving front. John Muir ( April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was a Scottish -born American Naturalist, author and early By 1948 the adjacent fjord had filled in, and the glacier no longer calved and was able to continue its advance. A fjord or fiord (fjɔːd|fiːɔːd or fiːɔːd is a long narrow Inlet with steep sides created in a valley carved by glacial activity. By 2005 the glacier was only 1. 5 km (0. 93 miles) from reaching Taku Point and blocking Taku Inlet. The advance of Taku Glacier averaged 17 m (55 ft) per year between 1988 and 2005. The mass balance was very positive for the 1946–88 period fueling the advance; however, since 1988 the mass balance has been slightly negative, which should in the future slow the advance of this mighty glacier. (Pelto and Miller)
Long-term mass balance records from Lemon Creek Glacier in Alaska show slightly declining mass balance with time. (Miller and Pelto) The mean annual balance for this glacier was −0. 23 m (−0. 75 ft) each year during the period of 1957 to 1976. Mean annual balance has been increasingly negatively averaging −1. 04 m (−3. 4 ft) per year from 1990 to 2005. Repeat glacier altimetry, or altitude measuring, for 67 Alaska glaciers find rates of thinning have increased by more than a factor of two when comparing the periods from 1950 to 1995 (0. 7 m [2. 3 ft] per year) and 1995 to 2001 (1. 8 m [5. 9 ft] per year). (Arendt, et alia) This is a systemic trend with loss in mass equating to loss in thickness, which leads to increasing retreat—the glaciers are not only retreating, but they are also becoming much thinner. In Denali National Park, all glaciers monitored are retreating, with an average retreat of 20 m (66 ft) per year. Denali National Park and Preserve is located in Interior Alaska and contains Mount McKinley (Denali the tallest mountain in North America. The terminus of the Toklat Glacier has been retreating 26 m (78 ft) per year and the Muldrow Glacier has thinned by 20 m (66 ft) since 1979. (Adema) Well documented in Alaska are surging glaciers that have been known to rapidly advance, even as much as 100 m (333 ft) per day, though the reasons they do this is not fully understood. Glacial surges are short-lived events where a Glacier can move up to velocities 100 times faster than normal and advance substantially (Pedersen) Variegated, Black Rapids, Muldrow, Susitna and Yanert are examples of surging glaciers in Alaska that have made rapid advances in the past. Variegated Glacier is one of several glaciers which connect to Russell Fjord in Alaska. These glaciers are all retreating overall, punctuated by short periods of advance.
A large region of population surrounding the central and southern Andes of Argentina and Chile reside in arid areas that are dependent on water supplies from melting glaciers. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. Chile, officially the Republic of Chile ( Spanish:) is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow Coastal strip wedged between the The water from the glaciers also supplies rivers that have in some cases been dammed for hydroelectric power. Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by Hydropower, ie the production of power through use of the gravitational force of falling water Some researchers believe that by 2030, many of the large ice caps on the highest Andes will be gone if current climate trends continue. In Patagonia on the southern tip of the continent, the large ice caps have retreated a full kilometer (0. 6 mile) since the early 1990s and 10 km (6 miles) since the late 1800s. It has also been observed that Patagonian glaciers are receding at a faster rate than in any other region in the world. (BBC2) The Northern Patagonian Ice Field lost 93 km² (35 mi²) of glacier area during the years between 1945 and 1975, and 174 km² (67 mi²) from 1975 to 1996, which indicates that the rate of retreat is increasing. The Northern Patagonian Ice Field, located in Chile (centered near) refers to the smaller of two remnant parts in which the Patagonian Ice Sheet in the This represents a loss of 8% of the ice field, with all glaciers experiencing significant retreat. The Southern Patagonian Ice Field has exhibited a general trend of retreat on 42 glaciers, while four glaciers were in equilibrium and two advanced during the years between 1944 and 1986. The Southern Patagonia Ice Field ( Spanish: Hielos Continentales or Campo de Hielo Sur) is the third biggest extension of continental ice after The largest retreat was on O'Higgins Glacier, which during the period 1896–1995 retreated 14. O'Higgins Glacier is one of the principal glaciers of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. 6 km (9. 1 miles). The Perito Moreno Glacier is 30 km (18 mile) long and is a major outflow glacier of the Patagonian ice sheet, as well as the most visited glacier in Patagonia. The Perito Moreno Glacier ( is a Glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in the south west of Santa Cruz province, Argentina. Perito Moreno Glacier is presently in equilibrium, but has undergone frequent oscillations in the period 1947–96, with a net gain of 4. 1 km (2. 5 miles). This glacier has advanced since 1947, and has been essentially stable since 1992. Perito Moreno Glacier is one of three glaciers in Patagonia known to have advanced, compared to several hundred others in retreat. (Skvarca and Naruse)(Cassasa). In the Aconcagau River Basin glacier retreat has resulted in a 20% loss in glacier area, declining from 151 km² to 121 km². (Brown, Rivera and Acuna)
Tropical glaciers are located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, in the region that lies 23° 26′ 22″ north or south of the equator. The Tropics are centered on the Equator and limited in Latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately 23°26' (23 For the novel by Henry Miller, see Tropic of Cancer (novel. The Tropic of Cancer, or Northern tropic, is one of five For the novel by Henry Miller, see Tropic of Capricorn (novel. Latitude, usually denoted symbolically by the Greek letter phi ( Φ) gives the location of a place on Earth (or other planetary body north or south of the The equator (sometimes referred to colloquially as "the Line") is the intersection of the Earth 's surface with the plane perpendicular to the Tropical glaciers are the most uncommon of all glaciers for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the tropics are the warmest part of the planet. Secondly, the seasonal change is minimal with temperatures warm year round, resulting in a lack of a colder winter season in which snow and ice can accumulate. Thirdly, few taller mountains can be found in these regions upon which enough cold air exists for the establishment of glaciers. All of the glaciers located in the tropics are on isolated high mountain peaks. Overall, tropical glaciers are smaller than those found elsewhere and are the most likely glaciers to show rapid response to changing climate patterns. A small temperature increase of only a few degrees can have almost immediate and adverse impact on tropical glaciers. (Jankowski)
With almost the entire continent of Africa located in the tropical and subtropical climate zones, glaciers are restricted to two isolated peaks and the Ruwenzori Range. The Tropics are centered on the Equator and limited in Latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately 23°26' (23 The subtropics are the zones of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropic zone which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Kilimanjaro, at 5,895 m (19,340 ft), is the highest peak on the continent. Since 1912 the glacier cover on the summit of Kilimanjaro has apparently retreated 75%, and the volume of glacial ice is now 80% less than it was a century ago due to both retreat and thinning. (Thompson) In the 14-year period from 1984 to 1998, one section of the glacier atop the mountain receded 300 m (980 ft). (Wielochowski) A 2002 study determined that if current conditions continue, the glaciers atop Kilimanjaro will disappear sometime between 2015 and 2020. (Thompson, et alia)(OSU) A March 2005 report indicated that there is almost no remaining glacial ice on the mountain, and it is the first time in 11,000 years that barren ground has been exposed on portions of the summit. (Guardian)(Tyson) Researchers reported Kilimanjaro's glacier retreat was due to a combination of increased sublimation and decreased snow fall. Sublimation of an element or compound is a transition from the Solid to Gas phase with no intermediate liquid stage (Mote and Kaser)
The Furtwängler Glacier is located near the summit of Kilimanjaro. The Furtwängler Glacier is located near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Between 1976 and 2000, the area of Furtwängler Glacier was cut almost in half, from 113,000 m² to 60,000 m². (Thompson2) During fieldwork conducted early in 2006, scientists discovered a large hole near the center of the glacier. This hole, extending through the 6 meter (20 ft) remaining thickness of the glacier to the underlying rock, is expected to grow and split the glacier in two by 2007. (Thompson)
To the north of Kilimanjaro lies Mount Kenya, which at 5,199 m (17,057 ft) is the second tallest mountain on the African continent. Mount Kenya is the highest Mountain in Kenya, and the second highest in Africa (after Mount Kilimanjaro) Mount Kenya has a number of small glaciers that have lost at least 45% of their mass since the middle of the 20th century. According to research compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), there were eighteen glaciers atop Mount Kenya in 1900, and by 1986 only eleven remained. The United States Geological Survey ( USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. The total area covered by glaciers was 1. 6 km² (0. 62 mi²) in 1900; however. by the year 2000 only about 25%, or 0. 4 km² (0. 15 mi²), remained. (USGS2) To the west of Mounts Kilimanjaro and Kenya, the Ruwenzori Range rises to 5,109 m (16,761 ft). Photographic evidence of this mountain range indicates a marked reduction in glacially covered areas over the past century. In the 35-year period between 1955 and 1990, glaciers on the Ruwenzori Range receded about 40%. It is expected that due to their proximity to the heavy moisture of the Congo region, the glaciers in the Ruwenzori Range may recede at a slower rate than those on Kilimanjaro or in Kenya. The Congo River (for a time known as the Zaire River) is the largest River in Western Central Africa. (Wielochowski2)
A study by glaciologists of two small glaciers in South America reveals another retreat. More than 80% of all glacial ice in the northern Andes is concentrated on the highest peaks in small glaciers of approximately one km² (0. 4 mi²) in size. A 1992 to 1998 observation of the Chacaltaya Glacier in Bolivia and Antizana Glacier in Ecuador indicated that between 0. Chacaltaya is a Glacierial Mountain range in Bolivia with an elevation of 5421 m (17785 feet and a view of Lake Titicaca in the distance The Republic of Bolivia (República de Bolivia) named after Simón Bolívar, is a Landlocked country in central South America. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Ecuador topics. 6 m and 1. 4 m (1. 9 ft to 4. 6 ft) of ice was lost per year on each glacier. Figures for Chacaltaya Glacier show a loss of 67% of its volume and 40% of its thickness over the same period. Chacaltaya Glacier has lost 90% of its mass since 1940 and is expected to disappear altogether sometime between 2010 and 2015. Research also indicates that since the mid-1980s, the rate of retreat for both of these glaciers has been increasing. (Francou) Further south in Peru, the Andes are at a higher altitude overall, and there are approximately 722 glaciers covering an area of 723 km² (279 mi²). Peru (Perú Piruw Piruw officially the Republic of Peru ( reˈpuβlika del peˈɾu is a country in western South America. Research in this region of the Andes is less extensive but indicates an overall glacial retreat of 7% between 1977 and 1983. (USGS4) The Quelccaya Ice Cap is the largest tropical icecap in the world, and all of the outlet glaciers from the icecap are retreating. The Quelccaya Ice Cap is the largest glaciated area in the tropics In the case of Qori Kalis Glacier, which is Quelccayas' main outlet glacier, the rate of retreat had reached 155 m (508 ft) per year during the three year period of 1995 to 1998. The melting ice has formed a large lake at the front of the glacier since 1983, and bare ground has been exposed for the first time in thousands of years. (Byrd)
On the large island of New Guinea, there is photographic evidence of massive glacial retreat since the region was first extensively explored by airplane in the early 1930s. New Guinea, located just north of Australia, is the world's second largest island, having become separated from the Australian mainland when the area now known Due to the location of the island within the tropical zone, there is little to no seasonal variation in temperature. The tropical location has a predictably steady level of rain and snowfall, as well as cloud cover year round, and there has been no noticeable change in the amount of moisture which has fallen during the 20th century. The 7 km² (2. 7 mi²) glacial cap on Puncak Jaya is the largest on the island, and has retreated from one larger mass into several smaller glacial bodies since 1936. Puncak Jaya (ˈpʊntʃak ˈdʒaja sometimes called Mount Carstensz or the Carstensz Pyramid, is a mountain in the Sudirman Range, the western central Of these smaller glaciers, research between 1973 and 1976 showed glacier retreat for the Meren Glacier of 200 m and 50 m (660 ft and 160 ft) for the Carstensz Glacier. The Northwall Firn, another large remnant of the icecap that once was atop Puncak Jaya, has itself split into several separate glaciers since 1936. Research presented in 2004 of IKONOS satellite imagery of the New Guinean glaciers provided a dramatic update. History IKONOS was originated under the Lockheed Martin Corporation as the Commercial Remote Sensing System (CRSS satellite Satellite imagery consists of photographs of Earth or other planets made by means of Artificial satellites. The imagery indicated that in the two years from 2000 to 2002, the East Northwall Firn had lost 4. 5%, the West Northwall Firn 19. 4% and the Carstensz 6. 8% of their glacial mass. Researchers also discovered that, sometime between 1994 and 2000, the Meren Glacier disappeared altogether. (Kincaid and Klein) Separate from the glaciers of Puncak Jaya, another small icecap known to have existed on the summit of Puncak Trikora completely disappeared sometime between 1939 and 1962. Puncak Trikora, formerly Mt Wilhelmina, is a mountain in the Papua province of Indonesia and is part of the Jayawijaya Mountains in the (Allison and Peterson)
Despite their proximity and importance to human populations, the mountain and valley glaciers of tropical and mid-latitude glaciers amount to only a small fraction of glacial ice on the Earth. About 99% of all freshwater ice is in the great ice sheets of polar and subpolar Antarctica and Greenland. Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat meaning "Land of the Greenlanders" Grønland is a self-governing Danish Province located between the These continuous continental-scale ice sheets, 3 km (1. 8 miles) or more in thickness, cap much of the polar and subpolar land masses. Like rivers flowing from an enormous lake, numerous outlet glaciers transport ice from the margins of the ice sheet to the ocean.
The northern Atlantic island nation of Iceland is home to the Vatnajökull, which is the largest ice cap in Europe. Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland ( ( Ísland or Lýðveldið Ísland ( Vatnajökull ( English: Glacier of Rivers (ˈvahtnaˌjœːkʏtl ̥ is the largest glacier in Iceland. The Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier is one of the Vatnajökull outlet glaciers, and had receded by as much as 2 km (1. 2 miles) between 1973 and 2004. In the early 20th century, Breiðamerkurjökull extended to within 250 m (820 ft) of the ocean, but by 2004 Breiðamerkurjökull's terminus had retreated three kilometers (1. 86 miles) further inland. This glacier retreat exposed a rapidly expanding lagoon that is filled with icebergs calved from its front. The lagoon is 110 m (360 ft) deep and nearly doubled its size between 1994 and 2004. Mass-balance measurements of Iceland's glaciers show alternating positive and negative mass balance of glaciers during the period 1987–95, but the mass balance has been predominantly negative since. On Hofsjokull ice cap, mass balance has been negative each year from 1995-2005.
Most of the Icelandic glaciers retreated rapidly during the warm decades from 1930 to 1960, slowing down as the climate cooled during the following decade, and started to advance after 1970. The rate of advance peaked in the 1980s, after which it slowed down as a consequence of rapid warming of the climate that has taken place since the mid-1980s. Most glaciers in Iceland began to retreat after 1990, and by 2000 all monitored non-surge type glaciers in Iceland were retreating. An average of 45 non-surging termini were monitored each year by the Icelandic Glaciological Society from 2000-2005. (Sigurdsson)
The Canadian Arctic islands have a number of substantial ice caps, including Penny and Barnes Ice Cap on Baffin Island, Bylot Ice Cap on Bylot Island, and Devon Ice Cap on Devon Island. The Canadian Arctic Archipelago, also known as just the Arctic Archipelago, is an Archipelago north of the Canadian mainland in the Arctic The Canadian Arctic Archipelago, also known as just the Arctic Archipelago, is an Archipelago north of the Canadian mainland in the Arctic The Penny Ice Cap is a vast 6000 km2 Ice cap in Auyuittuq National Park of Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. The Barnes Ice Cap is an Ice cap located in central Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Baffin Island (ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ Qikiqtaaluk, Île de Baffin Old Norse: Helluland) in the territory of Nunavut is the largest member Bylot Island lies off the northern end of Baffin Island in Nunavut Territory Canada. The Devon Ice Cap (N 753333 and W -825 is an Ice cap on eastern Devon Island covering an area of over. One of the larger members of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Devon Island is the second-largest of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut, Canada All of these ice caps have been thinning and receding slowly. The Barnes and Penny ice caps on Baffin Island have been thinning at over 1 m (3. 1 ft) per year in the lower elevations from 1995 to 2000. Overall, between 1995 and 2000, ice caps in the Canadian Arctic lost 25 km³ (6 miles³) of ice per year. (Abdalati) Between 1960 and 1999, the Devon Ice Cap lost 67 km³ (16 mi³) of ice, mainly through thinning. All major outlet glaciers along the eastern Devon Ice Cap margin have retreated 1–3 km (0. 6–1. 8 miles) since 1960. (Burgess and Sharpa) On the Hazen Plateau of Ellesmere Island, the Simmon Ice Cap has lost 47% of its area since 1959. Ellesmere Island is part of the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the Canadian territory of Nunavut. (Braun, et alia) If the current climatic conditions continue, the remaining glacial ice on the Hazen Plateau will be gone around 2050. On August 13, 2005 the Ayles Ice Shelf broke free from the north coast of Ellesmere Island, the 25. Events 3114 BC - According to the Lounsbury correlation the start of the Maya calendar. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. 5 square mile (66 km²) ice shelf drifted into the Arctic Ocean. (National Geographic). This followed the splitting of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in 2002. The Ward Hunt has lost 90% of its area in the last century. (Mueller, Vincent and Jeffries)
Arctic islands north of Norway, Finland and Russia have all shown evidence of glacier retreat. Finland, officially the Republic of Finland ( is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending In the Svalbard archipelago, the island of Spitsbergen has numerous glaciers. Svalbard is an Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Europe, about midway between Norway and the North Pole. An archipelago (ɑrkəˈpɛləgoʊ is a chain or cluster of Islands The word archipelago literally means "chief Sea " from Italian Spitsbergen (formerly known as West Spitsbergen, and sometimes misspelled Spitzbergen) is a Norwegian island the largest Island of the Research indicates that Hansbreen Glacier on Spitsbergen retreated 1. 4 km (0. 87 mi) from 1936 to 1982 and another 400 m (1,300 ft) during the 16-year period from 1982 to 1998. (Glowacki) Blomstrandbreen, a glacier in the King's Bay area of Spitsbergen, has retreated approximately 2 km (1. 2 miles) in the past 80 years. Since 1960 the average retreat of Blomstrandbreen has been about 35 m (110 ft) a year, and this average was enhanced due to an accelerated rate of retreat since 1995. (Greenpeace) Similarly, the Midre Lovenbreen Glacier retreated 200 m (656 ft) between 1977 and 1995. (Rippin, et alia) In the Novaya Zemlya archipelago north of Russia, research indicates that in 1952 there was 208 km (129 mi) of glacier ice along the coast. Novaya Zemlya (Но́вая Земля́ also spelled Novaja Zemlja, lit By 1993 this had been reduced by 8% to 198 km (123 mi) of glacier coastline. (Aleksey)
In Greenland, glacier retreat has been observed in outlet glaciers, resulting in an increase of the ice flow rate and destabilization of the mass balance of the ice sheet that is their source. Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat meaning "Land of the Greenlanders" Grønland is a self-governing Danish Province located between the The period since 2000 has brought retreat to several very large glaciers that had long been stable. Three glaciers that have been researched—Helheim Glacier, Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier, and Jakobshavn Isbræs—jointly drain more than 16% of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Jakobshavn Isbræ, also known as the Jakobshavn Glacier and Sermeq Kujalleq (in Greenlandic is a large Outlet glacier in West Greenland The Greenland Ice Sheet is a vast body of ice covering 171 million km² roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. In the case of Helheim Glacier, researchers used satellite images to determine the movement and retreat of the glacier. Satellite images and aerial photographs from the 1950s and 1970s show that the front of the glacier had remained in the same place for decades. In 2001 the glacier began retreating rapidly, and by 2005 the glacier had retreated a total of 7. 2 km (4. 5 miles), accelerating from 70 ft (20 m) per day to 110 ft (35 m) per day during that period. (Howat)
Jakobshavn Isbræ in west Greenland, a major outlet glacier of the Greenland Ice Sheet, is the fastest moving glacier in the world over the past half century. It had been moving continuously at speeds of over 24 m (78 ft) per day with a stable terminus since at least 1950. In 2002, the 12 km (7. 5 mile) long floating terminus of the glacier entered a phase of rapid retreat, with the ice front breaking up and the floating terminus disintegrating and accelerating to a retreat rate of over 30 m (100 ft) per day. On a shorter timescale, portions of the main trunk of Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier that were flowing at 15 m (50 ft) per day from 1988 to 2001 were measured to be flowing at 40 m (130 ft) per day in the summer of 2005. Not only has Kangerdlugssuaq retreated, it has also thinned by more than 100 m (330 ft). (Truffer)
The rapid thinning, acceleration and retreat of Helheim, Jakobshavns and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers in Greenland, all in close association with one another, suggests a common triggering mechanism, such as enhanced surface melting due to regional climate warming. The current flow speeds at the terminus are too fast to be caused solely by internal deformation of the ice, implying that an increase in basal sliding forced by additional meltwater production is the probable cause of the velocity increases. This was termed the Jakobshavns Effect by Terence Hughes at the University of Maine in 1986. The University of Maine, established in 1865 is the Flagship University of the University of Maine System. (Hughes)
The climate of Antarctica is one of intense cold and great aridity. The Climate of Antarctica is the coldest on earth the lowest Temperature ever recorded on earth being −89 Most of the world's freshwater ice is contained in the great ice sheets that cover the continent of Antarctica. The most dramatic example of glacier retreat on the continent is the loss of large sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. The Larsen Ice Shelf is a long fringing Ice shelf in the northwest part of the Weddell Sea, extending along the east coast of Antarctic Peninsula from The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica, and almost the only part of that continent that extends outside the Antarctic Circle Ice shelves are not stable when surface melting occurs, and the collapse of Larsen Ice Shelf has been caused by warmer melt season temperatures that have led to surface melting and the formation of shallow ponds of water on the ice shelf. The Larsen Ice Shelf lost 2,500 km² (965 mi²) of its area from 1995 to 2001. In a 35-day period beginning on 31 January 2002, about 3,250 km² (1,250 mi²) of shelf area disintegrated. Events 1504 - France cedes Naples to Aragon. 1606 - Gunpowder Plot: Guy Fawkes See also 2002 (disambiguation Year 2002 ( MMII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. The ice sheet is now 40% the size of its previous minimum stable extent. (NSaIDC2) Recent studies by the British Antarctic Survey have anticipated a potential breakup of the George VI Ice Shelf due to warming ocean currents resulting from global warming. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS is the United Kingdom 's national Antarctic operator and has an active role in Antarctic affairs Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the (Bentley & Hodgson)
Pine Island Glacier, an Antarctic outflow glacier that flows into the Amundsen Sea, thinned 3. Pine Island Glacier is a broad Glacier flowing west-northwest along the south side of the Hudson Mountains into Pine Island Bay, Amundsen Sea The Amundsen Sea is an arm of the Southern Ocean off Marie Byrd Land in western Antarctica. 5 ± 0. 9 m (11. 5 ± 3 ft) per year and retreated a total of 5 km (3 mi) in 3. 8 years. The terminus of the Pine Island Glacier is a floating ice shelf, and the point at which it is afloat is retreating 1. 2 km (0. 7 mi) per year. This glacier drains a substantial portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and has been referred to as the weak underbelly of this ice sheet. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet ( WAIS) is the segment of the continental ice sheet that covers West (or Lesser Antarctica, the portion of Antarctica (Rignot) This same pattern of thinning and accelerated retreat is evident on the neighboring Thwaites Glacier. Thwaites Glacier ( is a broad Glacier flowing into the Amundsen Sea about 30 miles (50 km east of Mount Murphy, Marie Byrd Land. Additionally, the Dakshin Gangotri Glacier, a small outlet glacier of the Antarctic ice sheet, receded at an average rate of 0. 7 m (2. 2 ft) per year from 1983 to 2002. On the Antarctic Peninsula, which is the only section of Antarctica that extends well north of the Antarctic Circle, there are hundreds of retreating glaciers. In one study of 244 glaciers on the peninsula, 212 have retreated an average of 600 m (2,000 ft) from where they were when first measured in 1953. (AAAS) The greatest retreat was seen in Sjogren Glacier, which is now 13 km (8 miles) further inland than where it was in 1953. There are 32 glaciers that were measured to have advanced; however, these glaciers showed only a modest advance averaging 300 meters (1,000 ft) per glacier, which is significantly smaller than the massive retreat observed. (BBC3)
On June 5, 2007, the British Antarctic Survey announced that the flow-rate of over 300 previously unstudied glaciers in Antarctica had increased by an average of 12% between 1993 and 2003. Events 70 - Titus and his Roman Legions breach the middle wall of Jerusalem in the Siege of Jerusalem Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS is the United Kingdom 's national Antarctic operator and has an active role in Antarctic affairs The increase in speed is thought to be caused by melting of lower glaciers that feed into the sea. The results, obtained by radar measurements taken using European Remote-Sensing Satellites 1 & 2, are to be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research and add to concerns that sea level rises during the 21st century may be greater than previously expected. European Remote sensing Satellite ( ERS) was the European Space Agency 's first Earth-observing satellite. Journal of Geophysical Research is the premier journal of the American Geophysical Union. (BAS) (Independent)
The continued retreat of glaciers will have a number of different quantitative impacts. In areas that are heavily dependent on water runoff from glaciers that melt during the warmer summer months, a continuation of the current retreat will eventually deplete the glacial ice and substantially reduce or eliminate runoff. A reduction in runoff will affect the ability to irrigate crops and will reduce summer stream flows necessary to keep dams and reservoirs replenished. Irrigation is an artificial application of water to the soil usually for assisting in growing crops This situation is particularly acute for irrigation in South America, where numerous artificial lakes are filled almost exclusively by glacial melt. (BBC) Central Asian countries have also been historically dependent on the seasonal glacier melt water for irrigation and drinking supplies. In Norway, the Alps, and the Pacific Northwest of North America, glacier runoff is important for hydropower.
Some of this retreat has resulted in efforts to slow down the loss of glaciers in the Alps. To retard melting of the glaciers used by certain Austrian ski resorts, portions of the Stubai and Pitztal Glaciers were covered with plastic. The Stubai Alps ( Ger Stubaier Alpen) is a Mountain range in the Central Eastern Alps of Europe. In Switzerland plastic sheeting is also used to reduce the melt of glacial ice used as ski slopes. (ENN) While covering glaciers with plastic sheeting may prove advantageous to ski resorts on a small scale, this practice is not expected to be economically practical on a much larger scale.
Many species of freshwater and saltwater plants and animals are dependent on glacier-fed waters to ensure the cold water habitat to which they have adapted. Some species of freshwater fish need cold water to survive and to reproduce, and this is especially true with salmon and cutthroat trout. Salmon is the common name for several species of Fish of the family Salmonidae. The cutthroat trout ( Oncorhynchus clarki) is a Species of Freshwater Fish in the salmon family of order Reduced glacial runoff can lead to insufficient stream flow to allow these species to thrive. Alterations to the ocean currents, due to increased freshwater inputs from glacier melt, and the potential alterations to thermohaline circulation of the worlds oceans, may impact existing fisheries upon which humans depend as well. An ocean current is continuous directed movement of Ocean water. The term thermohaline circulation (THC refers to the part of the large-scale ocean circulation that is thought to be driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and
The potential for major sea level rise depends mostly on a significant melting of the polar ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica, as this is where the vast majority of glacial ice is located. Sea-level rise is an increase in Sea level. Multiple complex factors may influence this change The British Antarctic Survey has determined from climate modeling that for at least the next 50 years, snowfall on the continent of Antarctica should continue to exceed glacial losses from global warming. The amount of glacial loss on the continent of Antarctica is not increasing significantly, and it is not known if the continent will experience a warming or a cooling trend, although the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed in recent years, causing glacier retreat in that region. (BAS) If all the ice on the polar ice caps were to melt away, the oceans of the world would rise an estimated 70 m (230 ft). However, with little major melt expected in Antarctica, sea level rise of not more than 0. 5 m (1. 6 ft) is expected through the 21st century, with an average annual rise of 0. 004 m (0. 013 ft) per year. Thermal expansion of the world's oceans will contribute, independent of glacial melt, enough to double those figures. Thermal Expansion is the tendency of matter to change in Volume in response to a change in temperature (NSIDC2)