Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our Amazing Planet: Alaskan Glaciers Grow

clipped from
Glacier Bay National Park. Two and a half centuries ago, the entire area was covered by thick sheets of ice.
A bitterly cold Alaskan summer has had surprising results. For the first time in the area's recorded history, area glaciers have begun to expand, rather than shrink. Summer temperatures, which were some 3 degrees below average, allowed record levels of winter snow to remain much longer, leading to the increase in glacial mass.
Those records date from the mid 1700s, when the region was first visited by Russian explorers. Molnia estimates that Alaskan glaciers have lost about 15% of their total area since that time -- an area the size of Connecticut.
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1 comment:

Paul's Thoughts said...

Alaska always sounds sooo cold, but it is comforting to hear that a glacier has decided to grow when so many are receding or are stagnant.

I know next to nothing about global warming, sometimes I wonder if the world is melting or is it that the sky is falling, its soo confusing. Perhaps I should go and ask Chicken Licken, who I am quite sure is fond of creamy puffy clouds and their distant cousin, the admirable white glacier. Would probably be wise to steer clear of Foxy Loxy, who has a cool name by the way, but has questionable motives. Then again, Chicken Licken is well known for alerting everyone about a mistaken belief that disaster is imminent (AKA "They sky is falling"). Just where am I to turn, maybe I need Uncle Jay? Al Gore had a few things to say about glaciers in “An Incontinent Truth”, which I thought was a good effort, apart from a few errors.

So Anyway, yes, I think “Our amazing planet” is wondrous, glaciers included. =)