10 Photos Showing Evidence of Climate Change on Alaskan Glaciers


(ref: US Geological Survey usgs.gov)

Here are some comparative photos from the US Geological Survey showing evidence of climate change on glaciers in Alaska. Most startling are the photos of Bear Glacier showing the change over just a 5 year period from 2002 to 2007.  You can view the USGS report at http://www.usgs.gov/global_change/glaciers

1. Muir Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska (1941 – 2004)

Muir Inlet, 1941

Photo: William O. Field

Muir Inlet, 2004

Photo: Bruce F. Molnia

2. Plateau Glacier, Wachusett Inlet, Saint Elias Mountains, Alaska (1961 – 2003)

Plateau Glacier, 1961

Photo: M.T. Millet

Plateau Glacier, 2003

Photo: R.D. Karpilo

3. Northwestern Glacier, Harris Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Kenai Mountains, Alaska (mid 1920s to 1940s – 2005)

Northwester Glacier, 1920-1940

Photo: USGS Photo Library

Northwestern Glacier, 2004

Photo: Bruce F. Molnia

4. Pedersen Glacier, Kenai Mountains, Aialik Bay, Alaska (mid 1920s to 1940s – 2005)
(misspelled caption on the 2nd photo is part of the USGS photo)

Pederson Glacier, 1920-1940

Photo: uncredited postcard

Pederson Glacier, 2005

Photo: Bruce F. Molnia

5. Bear Glacier (aerial view), Kenai Mountains, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska (2002 – 2007)

Bear Glacier, 2002

Photo: Bruce F. Molnia

Bear Glacier, 2007

Photo: Bruce F. Molnia


How we know what we know about climate change

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate (available from Reach and Teach) shows the science behind the headlines – evidence from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees, glaciers and much more, gathered by scientists from all over the world, sometimes with assistance from young “citizen-scientists.” And here is what young people, and their families and teachers, can do to learn about climate change and take action. Climate change is a critical and timely topic of deep concern, here told in an age-appropriate manner, with clarity and hope.

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3 Responses

  1. this is dumb. the black and white pics were taken in the winter, and the color during the warmer months. and obviously the climate is going to change. the great lakes were once a huge glacier too. did the world end then?!!!!

  2. USGS does comparative mass measurements over the season to look at true ice melt loss. (ref: http://www.nrmsc.usgs.gov/research/glaciers.htm ) The phenomenon is real. BTW, although there will be seasonal effects I hope (but I guess maybe not), it’s common knowledge to most folks that this amount of ice melt in a glacier is not explainable by whether a photo is taken in the Summer or Winter. Muir Inlet was photographed by Field on August 13, 1941 so it was a Summer shot.

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