Where on Earth are temperate glaciers located?
A temperate glacier (as opposed to a polar glacier) is a glacier that’s essentially at the melting point, so liquid water coexists with glacier ice. A small change in temperature can have a major impact on temperate glacier melting, area, and volume. Temperate glaciers exist on the continents of North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, on both islands of New Zealand, and on the island of Irian Jaya. Additionally, some of the glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula and some of Greenland’s southern outlet glaciers are temperate.
The warming climate has dramatically reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by as much as 85 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University.
In this Landsat EarthView, one glacier in Chile bucks the global trend:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the longest continuous glacier research efforts in North America.
Frozen bodies of ice cover nearly 10 percent of the state of Alaska, but the influence of glaciers on the environment, tourism, fisheries, hydropower, and other important Alaska resources is rarely discussed.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska Melting glaciers are not just impacting sea level, they are also affecting the flow of organic carbon to the world’s oceans, according to new research that provides the first ever global-scale estimates for the storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers.
The persistence of an already rare aquatic insect, the western glacier stonefly, is being imperiled by the loss of glaciers and increased stream temperatures due to climate warming in mountain ecosystems, according to a new study released in Freshwater Science.
- Glacier Numerology – The how big, how long, how thick, how much, how often, of glacier science.
- Glacier Photography – While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a collection of images may tell a complete forensic story.
- Glacier Geophysics – How new technologies are being introduced to reexamine and refine decades old glacier analyses.
Mapping the glacier's edge in Glacier National Park.
Looking out the mouth of Reynolds Glacier in Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park is iconic of the combined impacts of climate change and snow and ice loss – over 80 percent of the park’s glaciers have been lost since the mid-19th century.
View looking north of heavily glaciated terrain from Mount Massive (14,429 ft/4,398 m) towards the Holy Cross Wilderness, northern Sawatch Range, Colorado.
Scientists sample for alpine insects in streams like this near Blackfoot Glacier in Glacier National Park. Alpine streams environments in the northern Rocky Mountains are especially vulnerable to climate change due to rapid warming resulting in loss of glaciers and snowpack. Glacier National Park is iconic of the combined impacts of climate change and snow and ice loss –...
When past sea levels were higher, where did the water come from? Here are the possibilities, with the amount of sea level rise they could provide now.
Retreating glacier south of Mt. Pendleton in Denali National Park, Alaska, with runoff from glacial melt seen in the foreground.