While most glaciers in southeast Alaska are losing an astounding amount of ice, this glacier has been relatively stable.
In southeast Alaska, “glacier change is continuing with no pause or slowdown apparent in the data,” said Chris Larsen.
Larsen would know. Since 2009, the glaciologist from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, has been making two sets of flights over the region’s glaciers each year for NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission. From the air, Larsen and colleagues have collected critical information on how the region’s snow and ice are changing.
“Many glaciers have changed so much that I find it hard to remember what they looked like even 10 years ago,” Larsen said. Fortunately, the changes are documented in the data. “We see 75 billion tons of ice lost each year, an amount that is impossible to put on humanly comprehensible scales.”
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Image via NASA Earth Observatory