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.

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Which mountain in the conterminous U.S. has the most glaciers?

Mount Rainier, Washington, at 14,410 feet (4,393 meters), the highest peak in the Cascade Range, is a dormant volcano whose glacier ice cover exceeds that of any other mountain in the conterminous United States. Mount Rainier has approximately 26 glaciers. It contains more than five times the glacier area of all the other

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How old is glacier ice?


    • The age of the oldest glacier ice in Antarctica may approach 1,000,000 years old
    • The age of the oldest glacier ice in Greenland is more than 100,000 years old
    • The age of the oldest Alaskan glacier ice ever recovered (from a basin between Mt. Bona and Mt. Churchill) is about 30,000
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    Are today's glaciers leftovers from the Pleistocene ice age?

    Yes and no. It depends on which glaciers you are considering. Parts of the Antarctic Continent have had continuous glacier cover for perhaps as long as 20 million years. Other areas, such as valley glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula and glaciers of the Transantarctic Mountains may date from the early Pleistocene. For

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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

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    Where are glaciers found in continental North America?

    Glaciers exist in both the United States and Canada. Most U.S. glaciers are in Alaska; others can be found in Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nevada (Wheeler Peak Glacier in Great Basin National Park).

    Reputedly, Utah’s Timpanogos Glacier is now a rock glacier (in which the ice is

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    Is there a size criterion for a glacier?

    While there is no global standard for what size a body of ice must be to be considered a glacier, USGS scientists in Glacier National Park use the commonly accepted guideline of 0.1 square kilometers (about 25 acres) as the minimum size of a glacier. Below this size, ice is generally stagnant and does not have enough mass

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    What is a glacier?

    A glacier is a large, perennial accumulation of crystalline ice, snow, rock, sediment, and often liquid water that originates on land and moves down slope under the influence of its own weight and gravity. Typically, glaciers exist and may even form in areas where:

    1. mean annual temperatures are close to the
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    Date published: May 10, 2017

    Glaciers Rapidly Shrinking and Disappearing: 50 Years of Glacier Change in Montana

    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.

    Date published: September 28, 2016

    Fifty Years of Glacier Change Research in Alaska

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the longest continuous glacier research efforts in North America.

    Date published: March 18, 2015

    From Icefield to Ocean - What Glacier Change Might Mean for the Future of Alaska

    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.

    Date published: January 20, 2015

    Melting Glaciers Increase the Flow of Carbon to Downstream Ecosystems

    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.

    Date published: December 4, 2014

    Rare Insect Found Only in Glacier National Park Imperiled by Melting 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.

    Date published: August 25, 2010

    Washington’s Benchmark Glacier Still Shrinking

    TACOMA, Wash. — Washington’s only “benchmark” glacier continues to lose mass as a result of changes in climate, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

    Attribution: Land Resources
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    Swiftcurrent Glacier 1910 - 2016 animation
    November 2, 2017

    Swiftcurrent Glacier 1910 - 2016 animation

    July 27, 2017
    • 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.
    Monitoring glaciers in Glacier National Park.
    2016 (approx.)

    Monitoring glaciers in Glacier National Park.

    Mapping the glacier's edge in Glacier National Park.
    2016 (approx.)

    Mapping the glacier's edge in Glacier National Park.

    Looking out the mouth of Reynolds Glacier in Glacier National Park.
    September 24, 2014

    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.

    Glacial terrain
    July 23, 2014

    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.

    Glacial fed alpine stream in Glacier National Park.
    August 8, 2013

    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 – over 80 percent of the park’s glaciers have been lost since the mid-19th century.

    World map showing location of major ice bodies and estimated sea level rise contributed by their melting
    November 30, 2000

    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.

    Image: Retreating Glacier and Runoff from Glacial Melt

    Retreating glacier south of Mt. Pendleton in Denali National Park, Alaska, with runoff from glacial melt seen in the foreground.