Boundary between coastal waters influenced by glacial weathering (light blue) and offshore waters of the Gulf of Alaska (darker blue). Ken Bruland photo.

Massive Glacier Melt and Fresh Water are Pouring into the Gulf of Alaska

The world is changing before our very eyes, yet most of us choose to ignore it. There has been a lot of horrible news lately regarding the rapid melting of the planets snow and ice. Irreversible melt in Antarctica, ice free arctic ocean in summer, and massive ice shelves that have held back Antarctica’s glaciers for tens of thousands of years are now cracking. In Alaska, land based melting glaciers are rapidly retreating under the pressure of their own weight and the forces of gravity.

[…]

Alaska’s southern coast glaciers that once terminated in the ocean, have now retreated far up Alaska’s valleys. A recent study shows that fresh water and glacial melt from these retreating glaciers are ‘pouring into the Gulf of Alaska accumulating more water than is seen in some of the world’s great rivers.’

The Oregon State study reports the tragic news.

[…]

This is one of the first studies to accurately document the amount of water being contributed by melting glaciers, which add about 57 cubic kilometers of water a year to the estimated 792 cubic kilometers produced by annual precipitation in this region. The combination of glacial melt and precipitation produce an amount of water that’s larger than many of the world’s great rivers, such as the Ganges, Nile, Volga, Niger, Columbia, Danube or Yellow River.

— Pakalolo, Daily Kos

Pakalolo ends his article with the following video of melting glaciers – it’s awesome, and sad.

Incredible footage of melting glaciers in Alaska, Greenland, and Iceland as part of the project Extreme Ice Survey. This project, founded in 2007 by James Balog, is an innovative, long-term photography project that merges art and science to give a ‘visual voice’ to the planet’s changing ecosystems

— Bavajose YouTube Channel

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