A Seven-Year Timelapse of a Glacier Melting
The most definitive visual proof I’ve seen that our planet is warming at an alarming rate. AGW deniers can’t deny science.
A seven-year photographic record of the Columbia Glacier in Prince William Sound on Alaska’s south central Pacific coast has been made into a striking time-lapse video that documents the glacier’s rapid ice discharge, and is helping researchers to understand how tidewater glaciers contribute to sea-level rise.
The video — assembled by the glaciologist William Pfeffer from the University of Colorado Boulder — shows large chunks of ice splitting off from the terminus of the main glacier and flowing out to sea. The glacier began to retreat rapidly in the early 1980s after being relatively stationary for well over a century. By spilling some 150 cubic kilometres of ice into the ocean, the glacier’s terminus has retreated by roughly 20 kilometres.
Pfeffer began taking regular photos of the glacier’s terminus in 2004. He has now assembled hundreds of images into a movie to animate glacier flow, which he presented at the International Polar Year 2012 scientific meeting in Montreal, Canada, on 25 April.