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How many glaciers currently exist in Alaska?

Based on the most recent comprehensive survey in 2011, there were about 27,000 glaciers in Alaska. However, the number of glaciers is a misleading statistic. Scientists are more interested in total glacial land coverage as a measure. The number of glaciers is less important since large ones can split up into several as they retreat. The amount of area glaciers occupy in Alaska is trending downward. 

Roughly a third of Alaska’s glaciers have been given official names that can be found in the online Geographic Names Information System.  

Learn more: USGS Water Science School - Glaciers: Things to Know 

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