Saturday :: Aug 8, 2009

Major Meltdown

by Turkana

From the U.S. Geological Survey, this is Washington's benchmark South Cascade Glacier, in 1928 and 2000:

And in 1979 and 2003:

And here is USGS data on Alaska's benchmark Gulkana Glacier and Wolverine Glacier.

As CNN reports:

U.S. scientists monitoring shrinking glaciers in Washington and Alaska reported this week that a major meltdown is under way.

A 50-year government study found that the world's glaciers are melting at a rapid and alarming rate. The ongoing study is the latest in a series of reports that found glaciers worldwide are melting faster than anyone had predicted they would just a few years ago. It offers a clear indication of an accelerating climate change and warming earth, according to the authors.

Since 1959, the U.S. Geological Survey, which published the study on its Web site, has been tracking the movements of the South Cascade glacier in Washington and the Wolverine and Gulcana glaciers in Alaska. The three glaciers are considered "benchmarks" for the conditions of thousands of other glaciers because they're in different climate zones and at various elevations.

"These changes are taking place in Washington State and Alaska in three different climate regimes," said Edward Josberger, the lead researcher on the study with the USGS Washington Water Science Center in Tacoma, Washington. "So we feel it's definitely something going on, probably on a global scale, and of course, if you look at other such measurements around the world and put it all together, yes, glaciers are retreating and retreating rapidly."

(h/t DarkSyde)

Turkana :: 8:16 AM :: Comments (15) :: Digg It!