The Truth About Alaskan Glaciers

Featured image: Landsat GlacierBay 01aug99.jpg, Wikimedia Commons, freely licensed media file

The Alaskan glaciers are retreating, so it must all be our fault.

Right? Well, maybe not.

Dr Bruce Molnia works with the US Geological Survey and has spent the last 40 years studying glaciers in Alaska. In 2008 he published “Glaciers of Alaska”, a hugely comprehensive and impressive volume which attempts to map and measure every single glacier in Alaska. This work forms Chapter 8 in the USGS publication “Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World”. Molnia’s main task was to put on record the current size and extent of these glaciers, rather than to analyse past changes to them.

“…we are making comparative judgments about the extent of today’s glaciers, that use as the “norm” the period when they were at or near their maximum for probably a millenium or more. Can this be sensible science?”

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