Friday, June 20, 2014

Juneau, Alaska: Mendenhall Glacier

You'd think you might get tired of seeing glaciers after a while, but it never happens. They are too impressive.

Mendenhall Glacier certainly qualifies. The blue ice is part of the attraction, as the surface absorbs all colors except blue.

If you want an example of the concept of climate change, this isn't a bad one. This glacier has been retreating quickly for quite a while, and the rate has picked up. This picture was taken from the Visitors Center. The glacier was about even with this location during the 1940s. It now checks in at 12 miles long, a half-mile wide and 70 feet tall, but we'll have to see how true that statement is in the coming years. Right now it is called the fifth-biggest icefield in North America.

By the way, when you click on the picture to increase its size, take a good look at the waterfall on the right. It's very large, and as you can see visitors can walk up very close to it on a trail from the Visitors Center. That also provides an even closer look at the glacier.

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