first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in I recently returned from a two-week family vacation trip to Alaska. This was my first trip to Alaska; of course, two weeks is a very brief time to visit such a vast state. We were able to spend some time in Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Anchorage, and Seward. We also spent several days fishing along the Salcha River and at Lower Paradise Lake on the Kenai Peninsula.My visit to Alaska sparked ideas for several possible blogs:But all of these topics have been pushed to the back of my brain by a more serious issue: Alaska’s shrinking glaciers.In Alaska, we got close to at least five glaciers: Exit Glacier, Holgate Glacier, Mother Goose Glacier, Surprise Glacier, and Wolverine Glacier. It was a rare privilege to crawl out of our tent on a bright July morning on the shore of a remote Alaskan lake to see sunlight playing on the blue and white surfaces of a mountain glacier on the other side of the lake. A visit to Alaska sharpens the pain I feel when I learn the facts about climate change, because I have a better idea of what is now at risk.When I looked at these impressive glaciers, I had no way to determine (like most tourists to Alaska) whether these glaciers are growing, stable, or shrinking. However, at the most visited of these glaciers, Exit Glacier, the National Park Service has provided a graphic way of displaying how quickly Alaska is losing its ice. Rangers have installed a series of signs, stretching over more than a mile, showing how much the glacier has shrunk in the last 100 years. The signs indicate the edge of the glacier at various times, beginning in 1899.In recent decades, Exit Glacier has been retreating at a rate of 43… Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberslast_img

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