The dramatic melting of glaciers on Mount Everest

Sun, 2009-01-18 22:15Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

The dramatic melting of glaciers on Mount Everest

Courtesy of SolveClimate.com comes a dramatic video showing the rapid melting of glaciers on Mount Everest.

Watch it:


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Comments

Obvious question: Were those pictures taken at the same time of year? Presumably glaciers have seasonal changes in their extent.

To illustrate check out this Google map. It’s the athabasca glacier in Jasper park, AB. The photo is clearly in the summer. Now zoom it in one level, and the photos are now clearly from the winter. Big difference hey?

Actually they have markers there to note where the glacier was at different points in time (presumably at the same time of year). It’s a good 1.5km from the ~1920 marker to where it is now.

I don’t think the glaciers retreat & advance seasonally, although the rate of movement might vary.  Seasonal snow & ice is going to be qualitatively different from glacial ice at the leading edge. 

If I recall my basic geography (thanks, Mr Bell), “normally” the flow of a glacier would be offset by the summer melt, so that the leading edge wouldn’t change a whole lot from year to year.  What’s going on now is that the rate of forward flow is not keeping pace with the degree of summer melt, so that every year the leading edge melts further back.   I’d personally like to revisit the Columbia Ice Fields and see how the view has changed since I took photos 40 years ago.