Holiday Sale: Save 25%, Although the mechanisms vary, together the glaciers are losing 75 billion tons of ice annually. “Detailed and continuous records of this length are exceedingly rare in our field, and thus these are indispensable to our understanding of the changes we’re observing across this region.”. Explore. vary, with some glaciers gaining mass in certain years (for example, Wolverine Glacier during the 1980s), but the measurements clearly indicate a loss of glacier mass over time. In 1966, the U.S. Geological Survey began measuring changes in mass and volume at Wolverine and Gulkana glaciers in Alaska as part of its Benchmark Glacier program. Mar 1, 2012 - Shasta Retreat in Dunsmuir. That glacier is a coastal system that flows into the Gulf of Alaska. This is where I spent my summers and winters. Since the 1990s, the retreat of glaciers in Alaska has made a disproportionally large contribution to global sea-level rise. Other parameters, such as depth measurement through the use of ice radar, GPS … In the simulations of the Jarvis Cr., the glacier was allowed to retreat as it melted, while Gulkana Glacier, Phelan Cr., was described a static glacier coverage. The glaciers and ice fields of Alaska are responsible for nearly 50 percent of the water that flows into the Gulf of Alaska. During 1997-2001, Gulkana Glacier showed a continued and accelerated negative mass balance trend, especially below the equilibrium line altitude where thinning was pronounced. The glacier held that position until 1980, when it began a rapid retreat that continues today. Gulkana Glacier is one of three detailed long-term glacier monitoring sites run by the USGS in a study on climate change and glacier-related hydrologic processes. The Athabasca Glacier is not alone in its retreat: Since 1960, glaciers around the world have lost an estimated 8,000 cubic kilometers (1,900 cubic miles) of ice. Cover: Photograph looking at the mostly debris-covered Gulkana Glacier terminus from just The third largest spring snowpack in 36 years on Gulkana Glacier won’t necessarily reverse the current slow retreat of the glacier and usher in a new growth cycle, according to U.S. Geological Survey hydrologists who measured the glacier’s snowpack in late April. “Detailed and continuous records of this length are exceedingly rare in our field and thus these are indispensable to our understanding of the changes we’re observing across this region.”. 1), topographic maps made in 1909, The meltwater has a unique “glacial fingerprint” that is evident in the timing, volume and temperature of the water, as well as the nutrients it carries. “It provides tangible evidence for how climate change is affecting the landscapes.”. Gulkana glacier Ln , Martinsburg, WV 25403 is currently not for sale. This is a list of glaciers existing in the United States, currently or in recent centuries.These glaciers are located in nine states, all in the Rocky Mountains or farther west. In total, these glaciers are losing 75 billion tons of ice annually, the equivalent of filling 150,000 Yankee Stadiums with water each year. The USGS research has focused on two glaciers that represent two very different Alaska climates — the Gulkana Glacier in the eastern Alaska Range south of Fairbanks and the Wolverine Glacier in the Kenai Mountains on the southern coast of Alaska. This is where I spent my summers and winters. And they’re now modeling how glaciers will respond to future climate scenarios, particularly how coastal glaciers like Wolverine impact the ecosystem along the Gulf of Alaska. Granted, most of that ice is below water, but the ice can be so thick that cruise ships can’t get too close. These three glaciers were chosen because they have been studied extensively by the U.S. Geological Survey for … During climate changes, coastal glaciers are more sensitive to changes in precipitation (or the storm tracks that bring precipitation), whereas interior glaciers are more sensitive to changes … Ice motion also slowed, which combined with the negative mass balance, resulted in glacier retreat under a warming climate. Higher temperatures and less snowfall have been causing many glaciers around the world to retreat … According to the USGS, climate change could cause summer temperatures to warm by 3.6 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit, and snow accumulation to markedly decrease. Gulkana Glacier is located along the south flank of the eastern Alaska Range. “These records are a testament to the hard work of many individuals and an early vision by USGS on the importance of glaciers in the landscape,” said Daniel McGrath, a research geophysicist with the program. The face is up to 400 feet tall, and icebergs 3 to 4 stories in height aren’t uncommon. Although their data show a marked retreat in the sizes of the glaciers, changes to Alaska's many glaciers are also visible to the naked eye, O'Neel said. The top photo shows the Gulkana Glacier in 1967. Repeat oblique photographs of Gulkana glaciers in Alaska. “They were able to see a pretty pronounced gradient of both physical and biological composition of what’s living in the bay. The Gulkana glacier in Alaska is one of three glaciers considered a benchmark by the U.S. Geological Survey. Gulkana Glacier (lat 63°15' N., long 145°28' W., fig 7) is a branched valley glacier on the south flank of the Alaska Range. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net. At Phelan Cr., the decadal-averaged peak annual mean daily runoff increased on average 114 % from 14 (2000-2010) Gulkana Glacier, Alaska—Mass Balance, Meteorology, and Water Measurements, 1997–2001 Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5046 U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey. Alaska’s glaciers are important contributors to sea level rise, and also influence coastal ecosystems through the water that they store and release,” said Dr. Shad O’Neel, head of the Glacier Research Program at the USGS Alaska Science Center. ANCHORAGE, Alaska — This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the longest continuous glacier research efforts in North America. a –1, contrasting with retreat and mass loss of −0.60 ± 0.15 m w.e. Wolverine Glacier and South Cascade Glacier are the other two monitoring sites. ft. single-family home is a bed, bath property. The study monitors climate, glacial movement, glacial runoff, glacier mass-balance, and stream runoff. Meier, MF, Tangborn, W, Mayo, LR and Post, A (1971) Combined ice and water balances of Gulkana and Wolverine glaciers, Alaska, and South Cascade Glacier, Washington, 1965 and 1966 hydrologic years. Thank you for signing up for the newsletter! The Benchmark Glacier data are available at https://www2.usgs.gov/landresources/lcs/glacierstudies/massbaldata.asp, Additional information about the USGS Benchmark Glacier program can be found at  https://www2.usgs.gov/landresources/lcs/glacierstudies/default.asp, Office of Communications and Publishing12201 Sunrise Valley DriveReston, VA 20192United StatesPhone: 703-648-4460, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geospatial Data, https://www2.usgs.gov/landresources/lcs/glacierstudies/massbaldata.asp, https://www2.usgs.gov/landresources/lcs/glacierstudies/default.asp. The inventory yielded a glacierized … To study those impacts, the glaciologists are teaming up with ecologists, oceanographers, biologists and botanists to assess how socio-economically important species like salmon are likely to fare in the warmer Alaska of the future. Since the 1990s, the retreat of glaciers in Alaska has made a disproportionally large contribution to global sea level rise. Figure 2 shows trends for three “benchmark” glaciers: South Cascade Glacier in Washington state, Wolverine Glacier near Alaska’s southern coast, and Gulkana Glacier in Alaska’s interior. View more property details, sales history and Zestimate data on Zillow. “Collectively, Alaska’s glaciers are shrinking rapidly today. Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems (CCME) Glacier Monitoring Studies: A systematic approach to monitoring changes in Glacier National Park’s namesake glaciers and to determine the causes of changes, assess their ecological and hydrological effects, and predict future changes and effects.. Glacier Retreat: An overview of CCME's research pertaining to glacial recession in Glacier … In total, these glaciers are losing 75 billion tons of ice annually, the equivalent of filling 150,000 Yankee Stadiums with water each year. The bottom photo is 49 years later, in 2016, and shows the shrinkage of the glacier. In addition to this work, the team is currently focused on measuring regional change with geophysical and remote sensing methods, and modeling how glaciers will respond to future climate scenarios. That is approximately enough ice to cover a two-kilometer-wide (1.2 mile-wide) swath of land between New York and Los Angeles with an ice sheet that is one kilometer … So we’re getting some core baseline biological data to go with the physical drivers that go back 50 years.”. By coordinating with landscape ecologists, biologists and oceanographers, the team is assessing how socio-economically important species like salmon are likely to fare in the warmer Alaska of the future. Tidewater Taku Glacier advanced and gained mass at an average rate of +0.25 ± 0.28 m w.e. Since the 1990s, the retreat of glaciers in Alaska has made a disproportionally large contribution to global sea level rise. Travel Ideas. A glacier retreats when its terminus does not extend as far downvalley as it previously did. Since 1875, both glaciers have rapidly thinned and retreated, indicating they have negative … During that time, the Gulkana Glacier has steadily diminished due to significantly warmer summers in interior Alaska and a relatively unchanged level of snowfall. The 1875 advance again blocked College Creek, and another small ice-dammed lake formed. In the town of Delta Junction, which sits adjacent to the Delta River far downstream from the Jarvis and Gulkana glaciers, the water table drops more than 33 feet each winter as the aquifers drain. of the glaciers included in these airborne surveys is Mendenhall Glacier, a maritime glacier located near Juneau in southeast Alaska (Fig. When a glacier melts completely, it exposes the earth’s surface, and this has the opposite effect, meaning that 80% of heat is absorbed and 20% is deflected. Predicted summer warming of 2 to 4 degrees C (3.6 to 7.2 degrees F) and a marked decrease in snow accumulation will contribute to the loss of many thousands of glaciers in Alaska and northwest Canada by the end of the century. These data serve as indicators of glacier health and help scientists understand how glaciers respond to a warming climate. Glaciological studies rely on a wide range of input data, the most basic of which, accurate glacier extents, were not available on an Alaska wide scale prior to this work. 6 hours ago — Thomas Frank and E&E News, 12 hours ago — Lee Billings and Casey Dreier, 13 hours ago — Ronjini Joshua | Opinion, December 1, 2020 — Daniel Cusick and E&E News, December 1, 2020 — Ewen Callaway and Nature magazine. a −1 at land-terminating Lemon Creek Glacier. Today, the federal benchmark glacier program extends beyond Alaska and includes research at the South Cascade Glacier in Washington state and the Sperry Glacier in Montana. Getting There. Daniel McGrath, a research geophysicist with the program, said much of the government’s ongoing climate research draws from the USGS’s 50 years of Alaska glacier studies. To accomplish this work, USGS scientists travel to Wolverine and Gulkana glaciers twice a year to make observations of snow accumulation and snow/ice melt that allow them to calculate the health of the glaciers. Mar 1, 2012 - Shasta Retreat in Dunsmuir. 1). The main trunk of the glacier has a southerly aspect, and is fed by four cirques with west, south, and east aspects. © 2020 Scientific American, a Division of Springer Nature America, Inc. Support our award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. We thus compiled a glacier database for Alaska and neighboring Canada using multi-sensor satellite data from 2000 to 2011. The progression of glacier retreat has been documented using satellite imagery and aerial photos (Key, et al., 2002), repeat photography, and annual GPS mapping of margins and terminus since 2003 by the USGS — CCME glacier monitoring program. Discover world-changing science. Glaciers in continental or interior climates (for example, Gulkana Glacier) exist primarily because cold temperatures result in low ablation. Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. For now, the glacier isn’t surging, but you could say that it’s a pretty light sleeper— it does calve a lot. Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at, Amid Ice Melt, New Shipping Lanes Are Drawn Up off Alaska, Arctic Nations May Confront U.S. on Climate Change, Some Disaster Prevention Spending Reaps Higher Rewards, Climate Preparation Report Released by Panel Previously Disbanded by Trump. Experts say those glaciers are influenced by different climates, allowing scientists to compare how glaciers respond in different regions. Click here for the original story. Mar 1, 2012 - Shasta Retreat in Dunsmuir. This water has a unique “glacial fingerprint” that is evident in the timing, volume and temperature, as well as the nutrients carried by it. “We’re trying to quantify the water flow, the water chemistry and then the vegetation that’s in the basin, the species that are there, all the way from the glacier terminus down to the ocean,” O’Neel explained. Those early findings, repeated twice a year for the last 50 years, became the baseline for the government’s Benchmark Glacier program, the longest continuous glacier research in North America. In 1966, a team of U.S. Geological Survey scientists journeyed to two small glaciers in Alaska to dig snow pits needed for measuring snow depth and density at the remote mountainous locations. Gulkana drains west into the Yukon River. These two false-color images, both captured by the Thematic Mapper (TM) instrument on Landsat 5, show the glacier and the surrounding landscape in … Dashed line is Gulkana Glacier, and dot dash is Wolverine Glacier. Shaded areas indicate 1σ variability. These measurements allow scientists to resolve changes in glacier size through time, and demonstrate sustained and continuous mass losses since about 1990. Meanwhile, the Wolverine Glacier, which is also shrinking, has experienced slightly cooler summers and more variability in winter temperatures. 1), an average retreat rate of 36 m per year. At both locations, the long-term records show that summer warming has resulted in sustained mass loss, noted Shad O’Neel, head of the glacier research program at the USGS Alaska Science Center. Although their data show a marked retreat in the size of glaciers, changes to Alaska's many glaciers are visible to the naked eye, O'Neel said. This home was built in and last sold on for.  1967, Unknown USGS photographer. 2016, L. Sass, USGS.Public domain. Information on the retreat of this glacier is quite detailed and comes from Little Ice Age (LIA) terminal and recessional moraines (Fig. (a) Land‐terminating glaciers. It also influences the rich diversity of species in the marine ecosystem that are important to tourism and fishing industries. After a period of thinning and retreat, Gulkana Glacier advanced in 1875; no equivalent advance is recorded for College Glacier. Explore our digital archive back to 1845, including articles by more than 150 Nobel Prize winners. Gulkana Glacier is a glacier filling several valleys in the east-central Alaska Range in the state of Alaska. The program provides data on glacier health in a warming climate. Repeat oblique photographs of Wolverine glacier in Alaska. View on Map Coordinates Latitude: 63.184179 Longitude: -145.541555. Increased radiation increases melting rates, … In the years since the USGS launched its landmark Alaska glacier research, the scientists have also begun combining their field studies data with new information gathered with modern geophysical and remote sensing methods. The climate is continental, characterized by a large range in temperatures, and irregular, lighter precipitation as compared to more coastal areas. The accumulation zone consists of four cirque glaciers which converge in a simple south-flowing ablation area. These changes are evident in both field and in airborne and space-borne data. The sq. This influence also extends to the marine ecosystem, contributing to the rich diversity of species that are important to tourism and fishing industries. Long-term records from Wolverine and Gulkana glaciers show that summer warming has resulted in sustained mass loss. The melting of glaciers depends on a variety of factors, the most important of which is the amount of solar radiation hitting the ice. Each of these glaciers are influenced by different climates allowing scientists to compare how glaciers respond in different regions. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 715-A, 23 . Glaciers deflect up to 80% of solar radiation (sunlight), while absorbing the rest. Horizontal box plots show the distribution of interval lengths, including the median (black), interquartile range (box size), and 5–95 percentiles of the intervals.
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