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THE Glacier Thread (merged)

Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby eugene » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 09:54:36

I lived in Alaska for many yrs. Nice to live where there's no doubt about climate change. Could actually have a conversation that didn't, quickly, shift to a debate. I was in Nome mid 90s and spring was two weeks earlier. Remember seeing a Fairbanks house that was buckling in the middle from permafrost melt. No words like may, maybe, might or could up there.

I first went up there in 82, then off/on for a while and steady from 95 to 2004. Saw the glaciers disappearing, permafrost melt, spring come earlier, etc. Crossed British Columbia, yearly, 2004 to 2012, so watched the massive pine die off. Canadians are a bit more with it so have road side signs talking about climate change. Was in southern Utah area yr or so ago. All the herds are gone and pastures grazed to bare dirt due to drought. Talked with locals who had a bit to say about climate change.

As Rockman says, it's all more complex than "warming air".
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Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 10:06:51

Rockman I am officially jealous! Twice climbed the Columbia ice field! What other adventures are you hiding in that Geologist head of yours?
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Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Tue 09 Dec 2014, 11:35:39

ROCKMAN wrote:The glacier feeds off of the Columbia Ice Field In Alberta.

Image
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Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby kiwichick » Wed 10 Dec 2014, 16:09:33

@ keith

care to expand on that?
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Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Wed 10 Dec 2014, 16:26:46

kiwichick wrote:@ keith

care to expand on that?


The Columbia Glacier in Alaska and the Columbia Icefield in Alberta's Jasper National Park are two completely different things and are several thousand kilometers apart.
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Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby kiwichick » Wed 10 Dec 2014, 16:40:56

thanks yc

not a part of our planet i'm familiar with
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Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 11 Dec 2014, 12:45:24

Thank Keith. I wasn't sure and couldn't find a clear reference. But I did have some doubt. So I figured someone here would know.
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Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby WildRose » Thu 11 Dec 2014, 13:35:21

The Athabasca Glacier is the largest of 6 glaciers that make up the Columbia Icefield. Water from melt of the icefield flows into the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. The rate of melt is measured by the markers at the base of the icefield (which you see when you go there to visit) but also the glacier is becoming much more shallow. It's estimated that the glaciers here will likely disappear this century and we can expect a drier climate for the region.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/a ... -1.2653641

I know the amount of change I've seen in the Athabasca Glacier in the 40 years I've been visiting Jasper Park is just phenomenal. Some pics from an article below:

http://critical-angle.net/2014/08/28/at ... shing-act/
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Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Thu 11 Dec 2014, 14:42:26

Yes, the changes in the Athabasca Glacier are pretty amazing. My understanding is that when the first explorers and fur traders of European descent traveled into the area the glacier extended completely across the valley to the mountains on the eastern side. Travelers had to use what is now the Wilcox Pass trail to get around the glacier.
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Re: Columbia Glacier

Unread postby Timo » Thu 11 Dec 2014, 14:50:48

Several years back, 10 or so, my wife and i spent a week kayaking up Aialik Bay, west and south of Seward. That Bay is fed by three glaciers, two of which are now no longer calving into the saltwater. One glacier now feeds a lake, which then flows into the Bay. The other just turns into a river that flows into the Bay. Our guide pointed out how rapidly the glaciers are retreating, noting that in the 10 years that he'd been paddling those waters, the two glaceris no longer calving have retreated almost 1/4 mile inland. The one remaining glacier that feeds the Bay still requires at least a 1/2 mile safe zone, preferrably more, to avoid the waves that those huge chuncks of ice falling into the water cause. At maybe 3/4 mile from that glacier, we all had to face perpendicular to the wave coming at us from a calve that had fallen in a few minutes earlier. That wave was much greater than 10 feet in height! Honestly one of the scariest moments of my life. Fortunately, we saw the clave fall in, then we heard the sound after a 10 second delay, and we had about one or two minutes to prepare for that wave. We knew it was coming, so we had plenty of time to prepare. Plus, we were all wearing our drysuits, so we kinda knew we wouldn't die. Immediately.

By this time, however, even that glacier might have retreated to the point where it's no longer reaching the water. That would make kayaking much less treacherous, but also much less scenic.

Dammit! Thinking about all of this makes me want to go back!
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Re: THE Glacier Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 30 Apr 2015, 16:05:34

Just stumbled over this. Predictions of the final loss date vary from one report to another, but this is the most recent one I have found.

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. -- What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone?

A century ago, this sweep of mountains on the Canadian border boasted some 150 ice sheets, many of them scores of feet thick, plastered across summits and tucked into rocky fissures high above parabolic valleys. Today, perhaps 25 survive.

In 30 years, there may be none.

A warming climate is melting Glacier's glaciers, an icy retreat that promises to change not just tourists' vistas, but also the mountains and everything around them.

Streams fed by snowmelt are reaching peak spring flows weeks earlier than in the past, and low summer flows weeks before they used to. Some farmers who depend on irrigation in the parched days of late summer are no longer sure that enough water will be there. Bull trout, once pan-fried over anglers' campfires, now are caught and released to protect a population that is shrinking as water temperatures rise.

Many of the mom-and-pop ski areas that once peppered these mountains have closed. Increasingly, the season is not long enough, nor the snows heavy enough, to justify staying open.

What is happening is occurring, to greater or lesser extents, in mountains across the North American West. In the Colorado Rockies, the median date of snowmelt shifted two to three weeks earlier from 1978 to 2007. In Washington, the Cascades lost nearly a quarter of their snowpack from 1930 to 2007. Every year, British Columbia's glaciers shed the equivalent of 10 percent of the Mississippi River's flow because of melting.

http://www.twincities.com/nation/ci_271 ... o-glaciers
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Re: THE Glacier Thread (merged)

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Thu 30 Apr 2015, 17:00:35

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. -- What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone?


On a more positive note, renaming the park would at least eliminate the confusion of having two "Glacier National Parks" -- one in the US and one in Canada.

Trivia note: The Canadian Football League used to have two teams named the Roughriders.
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Re: THE Glacier Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Thu 30 Apr 2015, 17:14:49

How about Deglaciated National Park? Maybe in a couple hundred years, Palm Tree Heights National Park, or by then park anywhere you like because there is no one left
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Re: THE Glacier Thread (merged)

Unread postby Revi » Mon 04 May 2015, 12:22:31

The glaciers have fed humanity for millennia. When we lose them rivers like the Ganges will be in trouble. Here in the US, places like California which rely on the slow melt of snowpack to keep things growing will be dry by the summer growing season this year. Water is life, and glaciers are at the headwaters of rivers which flow by where a lot of people live.
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Re: THE Glacier Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 17 Jun 2015, 19:39:23

Alaska glaciers make large contributions to global sea level rise

Alaska's melting glaciers are adding enough water to the Earth's oceans to cover the state of Alaska with a 1-foot thick layer of water every seven years, a new study shows.

The study found that climate-related melting is the primary control on mountain glacier loss. Glacier loss from Alaska is unlikely to slow down, and this will be a major driver of global sea level change in the coming decades, according to the study's authors.

"The Alaska region has long been considered a primary player in the global sea level budget, but the exact details on the drivers and mechanisms of Alaska glacier change have been stubbornly elusive," said Chris Larsen, a research associate professor with the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Larsen is lead author of the new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The UAF and U.S. Geological Survey research team analyzed surveys of 116 glaciers in the Alaska region across 19 years to estimate ice loss from melting and iceberg calving. The team collected airborne lidar altimetry data as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge and integrated the new data with information from the 1990s collected by UAF scientist and pilot Keith Echelmeyer.

They combined the lidar observations with a new mountain glacier inventory that characterizes the size and shape of every glacier in the Alaska region, which includes the glaciers of Alaska, southwest Yukon Territory and coastal northern British Columbia.


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Re: THE Glacier Thread (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Mon 10 Aug 2015, 23:20:42

Speed of glacier retreat worldwide 'historically unprecedented', says report
The World Glacier Monitoring Service ... has just compared all known 21st century observations with data from site measurements, aerial photography and satellite observations and evidence from pictorial and written sources. Altogether, the service has collected 5,000 measurements of glacier volume and changes in mass since 1850, and 42,000 records of variations in glacier fronts from records dating back to the 16th century.

And the evidence is clear: the glaciers are in retreat, worldwide, and the retreat is accelerating.

“The observed glaciers currently lose between half a metre and one metre of ice thickness every year – this is two to three times more than the corresponding average of the 20th century,” says the study’s lead author, Michael Zemp, who directs the monitoring service. “Exact measurements of this ice loss are reported from a few hundred glaciers only. However, these results are qualitatively confirmed from field and satellite observations for tens of thousands of glaciers around the world.”

Free download of the paper available here.
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Rapid melt of New Zealand glaciers

Unread postby americandream » Wed 16 Mar 2016, 00:51:52

The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers have been melting at such a rapid rate that it has become too dangerous for tourists to hike onto them.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy ... 360292.ece
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Re: Rapid melt of New Zealand glaciers

Unread postby kiwichick » Wed 16 Mar 2016, 05:21:57

been like that for a while now ad.
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Re: Rapid melt of New Zealand glaciers

Unread postby americandream » Wed 16 Mar 2016, 05:28:28

Yeah. Not good.
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Re: Rapid melt of New Zealand glaciers

Unread postby radon1 » Wed 16 Mar 2016, 07:34:05

kiwichick wrote:been like that for a while now ad.


For quite a while it looks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Josef_Glacier

The first European description of one of the west-coast glaciers (believed to be Franz Josef).[5] The glacier was later named after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria by the German explorer, Julius von Haast in 1865. The Māori name for the glacier is Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere ('The tears of Hinehukatere'), arising from a local legend: Hinehukatere loved climbing in the mountains and persuaded her lover, Wawe, to climb with her. Wawe was a less experienced climber than Hinehukatere but loved to accompany her until an avalanche swept Wawe from the peaks to his death. Hinehukatere was broken hearted and her many, many tears flowed down the mountain and froze to form the glacier.
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