Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?
Back in 1925 Glacier Bay National Monument was established, in part, to protect "a number of tidewater glaciers ... in a magnificent setting of lofty peaks ..."
Well, as these photos of Muir Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve show, some of those glaciers are slip-sliding away.
Such photographic evidence makes it hard to argue against climate change. About the only thing that can be argued is the role, if any, that humans are playing in altering the world's climate.
That said, glaciers have been coming and going in this Alaskan landscape for a long, long, long time:
Ice has been a major force in the Glacier Bay region for at least the last seven million years. The glaciers seen here today are remnants of a general ice advance – the Little Ice Age – that began about 4,000 years ago. True to its name, this advance in no way approached the extent of continental glaciation during Pleistocene times known as the Wisconsin Ice Age. The Little Ice Age reached its maximum extent here about 1750, when general melting began. The advance or retreat of a glacier snout reflects many factors: snowfall rate, topography, and climate trends. Today, glacial retreat continues on the bay's east and southwest sides, but on the west side several glaciers are advancing.