By Shelby Lin Erdman
US. scientists monitoring shrinking glaciers in Washington and Alaska reported this week that a major meltdown is under way.
The Gulcana glacier in Alaska is one of three glaciers considered a benchmark by the U.S. Geological Survey. A 50-year government study found that the world's glaciers are melting at a rapid and alarming rate. The ongoing study is the latest in a series of reports that found glaciers worldwide are melting faster than anyone had predicted they would just a few years ago. It offers a clear indication of an accelerating climate change and warming earth, according to the authors. "We feel it's definitely the signature of global change and climate warming," Josberger said.
The melt of glaciers is resulting in higher sea levels and affecting ecosystems and the rivers that emanate from these glaciers, Josberger said. "In terms of water supply available for people, Anchorage is fed by two glacially fed lakes. There are some very strong impacts that could happen."
"We've been using this 50-year record to interpret the changes or the response of glaciers to climate change," Josberger said. "Basically, in the past 10, 15 or 20 years these three glaciers are wasting away. The melting has far exceeded the amount of snow that falls on them in the winter, so they're retreating far up valley. And this retreat is taking place all over the Pacific Northwest and Alaska."
Glacier melt will likely continue and, as it does, sea levels around the world are expected to continue rising. And that could affect people in low-lying coastal communities, forcing them from their homes and further inland, experts say.
This sounds a bit alarming!Maybe that beach condo is not such a good idea after all!!!! Wonderful inspiration for late weekend movie choices though! Waterworld and Day after Tomorrow, a nice Cabernet, tres leches , and a blankie for a bit of perspective! Now where did I put those floaties?